Gianni Schicchi

Suor Angelica
Giacomo Puccini

Direction

Valéry Ryvkin

Valéry Ryvkin

 

Conductor / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Conductor / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Conductor / La traviata

December 2000

 

Conductor / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Conductor / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000

 

Conductor /
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

October 1999

 

Conductor / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Conductor / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Conductor / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Conductor / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

Conductor / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

Conductor / Tosca

September 1997

 

Conductor / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Conductor / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Conductor / Carmen

August 1996

 

Conductor / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

 

Artistic Director

1999–2008

Linda Brovsky

Linda Brovsky

 

Stage Director / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Jean-François Revon

Jean-François Revon

Mark Somerfield

Mark Somerfield

Artists

David Small

David Small

Jessica Rivera

Jessica Rivera

 

Frasquita / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Cindy Sadler

Cindy Sadler

J. Raymond Meyers

J. Raymond Meyers

 

Rémendado / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Julia Frenkel

Julia Frenkel

Matthew Treviño

Matthew Treviño

Sara Campbell

Sara Campbell

John Sauvey

John Sauvey

Paul Sahuc

Paul Sahuc

Christopher Carroll

Christopher Carroll

Location

Cast & Credits

Direction
Conductor:

Valéry Ryvkin

 

Conductor / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Conductor / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Conductor / La traviata

December 2000

 

Conductor / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Conductor / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000

 

Conductor /
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

October 1999

 

Conductor / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Conductor / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Conductor / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Conductor / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

Conductor / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

Conductor / Tosca

September 1997

 

Conductor / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Conductor / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Conductor / Carmen

August 1996

 

Conductor / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

 

Artistic Director

1999–2008

Stage Director:

Linda Brovsky

 

Stage Director / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Set Design:

Jean-François Revon

Lighting Design:

Mark Somerfield

Artists
Gianni Schicchi:

David Small

Lauretta:

Jessica Rivera

 

Frasquita / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Rinuccio:

Omar Rodriguez

Baritone Omar Rodriguez has been a featured soloist in opera, oratorio, and recital performances throughout the United States. Some of his recent role highlights include Count Almaviva in Mozart's le nozze di Figaro, Papageno in The Magic Flute, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. He has been a frequent soloist with Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra as the bass soloist in Purcell’s Mass to St. Cecilia, Handel’s Messiah and Israel in Egypt, the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb. Omar has had the honor of performing as a soloist in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Vienna’s Votivkirche and the Salzburg Residenz Palast. This summer, he attended the Middlebury Language School German for Singers program, learning German in a complete immersion environment and performing scenes from Mozart's operatic catalogue. January 2022 will see his debut with Espressivo in a performance of Ravel's Trois poèmes de Mallarmé and covering the role of Melchior in the world premiere of Befana: A Christmas Fable by Kirke Mechem. Omar will be performing the role of the Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata with Opera Santa Barbara in Spring of 2022. Also in the works is an upcoming full-length album with the Canada-based symphonic metal band, Dusk Meridian. Mr. Rodriguez holds a BM in Vocal Performance from California State University Fullerton, and an MM in Vocal Performance from Boston University. Omar speaks English, Spanish, and German. He currently studies with Matthew Worth.

Cambria Metzinger

Cambria Metzinger is a San Diego based mezzo-soprano from Santa Barbara, California. She has been praised for her charming stage presence and wide stylistic range. Cambria has an extensive background in a variety of musical genres including jazz and musical theater with a primary focus in opera. She is on track to receive her BM in classical vocal performance from San Diego State University where she has performed a variety of principal roles, including the Stewardess in Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Dafne in Peri’s Euridice and Anna in Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins. She most recently performed the role of Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Pacific Lyric Association Opera. Cambria’s voice has been consistently lauded by distinguished organizations such as the National Association of Teachers Singing (NATS), the Music Teacher Association of California (MTAC) and the Santa Barbara Music Club (SBMC). Cambria has been accepted into Opera Santa Barbara’s Chrisman Studio Artist program for the 2021-2022 season. She will be making her Opera Santa Barbara debut as a seamstress in Puccini’s Il Tabarro. She can also be seen performing as the Cantadora in SDSU’s upcoming production of La verbena de la Paloma as well as a soloist for the Mozart Requiem in D minor, K. 626 with the SDSU orchestra. Cambria is currently in the process of applying to graduate school, where she intends on pursuing a MM in vocal performance.

 

Erin Alford

Mezzo-soprano Erin Alford has been praised for her “vocal sheen” and “stage presence that mark her as a young artist with a bright future.” This season, Erin makes her house and role debut as Second Woman and Dido cover in Dido and Aeneas with Opera San José, returns to Pensacola Opera as Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, and joins Opera Santa Barbara as a Chrisman Studio Artist, covering Hannah After in As One. As a 2020-2021 Pensacola Opera Artist in Residence, Erin performed Mercédès—and covered the title role—in Carmen, Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, the title role in the education production Cinderella, and Giannetta in Heartbreak High. Additionally in the 20-21 season, Erin was awarded an Encouragement Award by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Kansas City District and a Bonnie Bell Encouragement Award from the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition. A Long Beach native, Erin has performed regularly with LA Opera Connects in touring school productions and recitals, and was recently featured as Chorus Soloist on the mainstage in the world-premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice. A passionate recitalist, Erin recently gave a recital for NATS-LA that focused on the music of women composers Other favorite roles performed include Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, the title role in Massenet’s Chérubin, and Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking. Erin received her Master of Music in Opera Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB, and her Bachelor of Art in Music from UC Berkeley.

Norman Espinoza

Norman Espinoza, a Bass from San José, California is excited to be part of the Chrisman Studio Artist program for Opera Santa Barbara’s 2021-2022 season. He has performed internationally and with numerous opera companies around the nation. Norman is a graduate from San José State University where he obtained both his M.M. and B.M. in Vocal Performance. 

Recognized for his powerful low notes, he has sung for the Berlin Opera Academy, the Montefeltro Music Festival in Italy, Opera San José, Lyric Opera of Orange County, Opera Las Vegas and most recently at the Al Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Roles Norman has sung include; Alidoro, Reverend Hale, Il Commendatore, Sparafucile, Leporello, Bartolo, Seneca and Sarastro to name a few. 

Off stage, Norman and his wife run a financial services business. They are passionate about educating others about how money works. They also serve on the board for Lyric Opera of Orange County as their Treasures. Together they are a great team and love giving back to their community.

Adam Lowe

Praised for his “exceptional instrument” Tenor Adam Lowe has thrilled audiences for years with his dramatic and powerful instrument. Lowe has enjoyed a varied career which has seen him perform with as a trombonist with orchestras, acting the classic works of Shakespeare, tap dancing in Cole Porter, singing in opera houses, and everything in between. This diverse education has gifted him with strong theatrical and musical gifts which he combines to give thrilling performances. During the pandemic he put his acting talents to work in San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s production of Die Fledermaus as the bumbling Dr. Blind. Equally deftly he stepped in for an ailing Don Jose in Mill City Summer Opera’s production of Carmen. After spending the whole day in fittings and combat rehearsals he answered the call and “sang valiantly” (StarTribune) the last two acts of Bizet’s masterwork. Minn Press regarded the night as “…a rare opportunity to hear two fine tenors.” He was also involved as the Lead Tenor in a revival and North American premiere of Cole Porter’s La Revue des Ambassadeurs where he was billed as “The standout vocalist, easily the best voice of the night…” (The Stages of MN). Mr. Lowe, a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is a champion of Finnish Art song and regularly gives recitals to bring these rather unknown but richly melodic gems to the American arts scene. He is currently a resident of San Francisco, where he has been since finishing a Postgraduate Degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

 

Sunwoo Park

SUNWOO PARK, from Seoul, South Korea, is a Graduate Certi?cate student studying under Professor Elizabeth Hynes at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California. She will be joining as Opera Santa Barbara Chrisman Studio Artist this year and performing the world premiere piece called All the Truths We Cannot See: A Chernobyl Story by Ulias Pulkis as a “Bear” in Helsinki, Finland in Spring 2022. She was invited to perform Papagena in The Magic Flute and to cover First Sprite in Rusalka at The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singer Program and Witness 1, Singer 1 and Woman 1 in Lessons in Love and Violence by George Benjamin at Lyric Opera of Chicago and also to perform as a “Calisto” in Cavalli’s La Calisto at USC Opera in 2020. However, those scheduled performances were canceled due to COVID-19. During the summer of 2019, she covered Musetta in La Bohème at The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singer Program. At USC Opera, she performed as a “Susanna” in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in 2019 and “Le Feu (The Fire)” in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and a “Lady with a Hand Mirror'' as a Operetta Singer in Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco in 2018. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in vocal performance from the Seoul National University where she graduated cum laude with the Eminence scholarship. She also recorded songs in the advertisement of Nikon Camera in Japan and the main title song of "Tachikoma" which is a famous animation movie in Japan.

 

Lindsay Patterson Abdou

Described as “…having a voice that haunts and thrilled,” Mezzo-Soprano Lindsay Patterson Abdou is a proud performer of contemporary opera and choral music. Performance highlights include the world premiere of Anthony Davis’ The Central Park Five as Sharon Salaam with Long Beach Opera, Bow in the Industry’s Sweet Land, and The Metropolitan Opera’s 2019/2020 production of Porgy and Bess in the chorus ensemble. In addition to opera, Lindsay is a roster alto with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Tonality, and the Pacific Chorale. She received her B.A. in Music from the University of California Riverside and M.M. in Vocal Performance from California Baptist University. When not performing, Lindsay is proud momma to daughter Vianne and son Gabriel.

Marlaina Owens

The American soprano, Marlaina Owens, a native of Los Angeles, has concertized throughout Austria, France, Germany, and the United States. Her operatic credits include Adele and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and the title role in Suor Angelica. Equally home in both theater and music, Owens’ performance artistry is shaped by her captivating stage presence, stylistic versatility and keen sense of dramatic timing. Her engagements in the 2020-21 season include the roles of Adele in Pacific Lyric Association’s production of Die Fledermaus (postponed due to COVID), as well as Denise in Long Beach Opera’s imposing new work, Creative in Me. Most impressively, this operatic work has been adapted to be performed virtually, and in its entirety, via Zoom. In the 2019-2020 season, Marlaina enjoyed soloist opportunities with the LA Opera League and the Shivers Concert Series in Colorado Springs. She was a finalist in the historical NAMN Marian Anderson Voice Competition in Chicago, an emerging artist with the Berlin Opera Academy, and trained under operatic soprano, Roberta Alexander, during her time in Amsterdam. She holds a Master’s degree in Voice from University of California, Irvine, and a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from Loyola Marymount University.

Matthew Peterson

Praised by the Colorado Spring's Gazzette for his "stunning" singing with "power and beauty", Matthew Peterson is an up and coming Baritone acclaimed for his rich voice and expressive acting ability.

A Colorado native, Matthew has performed with many of Colorado’s premiere musical organizations including Central City Opera, the Colorado Ballet, Opera Colorado, Boulder Symphony, the Boulder Philharmonic, and numerous others.

He has also sung nationally with Virginia Opera, the Fort Hayes Symphony, and Opera in the Ozarks. Roles include Silvio in Pagliacci, the title role of Don Giovanni, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Belcore in L’elisir d’Amore, and Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea. As a sought after soloist, he's performed in a number of large scale works including Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem, Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht, and premiered the dance oratorio Ode to Nature that was recorded and released by Albion Records. 

In 2019, Matthew won 1st place in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild competition. Recent performance highlights include his appearance as the Baritone soloist in the Colorado Ballet’s performance of Carmina Burana, Polyphemus in Central City Opera’s Acis and Galatea, and A-rab in a sold out run of the concert version of West Side Story with the Boulder Philharmonic.  Last summer, Matthew returned to Central City Opera to sing the Novice's Friend and cover the title role of Britten's Billy Budd. This year, Matthew has joined the prestigious Yale School of Music to study with legendary bass Richard Cross and will be involved in various performances and recitals.

Kaitlyn Griswell

Kaitlyn Griswell is a graduate of Oklahoma City University’s class of 2021 where she earned a bachelor's degree in vocal performance. Kaitlyn grew up in Santa Barbara and previously worked with Opera Santa Barbara in their 2016 production of Carmen. She could not be more excited to be returning and starting her career with the Opera Santa Barbara team! She is thrilled to be working in a community with people who share her passion for creativity and the arts.

Karen Knight

Karen Knight is a longtime resident of Santa Barbara who returned two and a half years ago after a 16 year hiatus in the Temecula area. Since returning to the area, she has spent time volunteering for Opera Santa Barbara,  Ensemble Theater Company, and United Way of Santa Barbara County. She also currently serves on the Board of Wood Glen Hall as Co-Chair of their Marketing Committee. 

Ms. Knight retired after helping start City Commerce Bank in 1978 where she served nine years as the bank’s VP of Business Development, Marketing, and Training. In 1993 she rejoined the workforce in 1993 after raising her children to serve as the United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Major Gifts Officer and Coordinator of the Red Feather Ball.

Gregory McMurray

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.) from the University of California, Los Angeles, Gregory McMurray earned his Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) at William and Mary School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia. Mr. McMurray served as a Deputy Public Defender both in Kern County and in Ventura County where he handled misdemeanor, felony and juvenile cases. He has served as a Judge Pro-Tem in Santa Barbara and currently teaches community property law at the Southern California Institute of Law. He is a member of the California State Bar.

Ben Lowe

Alaysha Fox

Soprano Alaysha Fox is an emerging artist based in Los Angeles.  A current member of LA Opera’s Domingo Colburn Stein young artist program, she was most recently seen as Dorothee in The Anonymous Lover. Last season, Ms. Fox was seen as Erstes Mädchen in Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen with the LA Philharmonic. This summer, Ms. Fox sings the role of bridesmaid in The marriage of Figaro with Santa Fe Opera.

Some previous credits include: Camelot with the Lincoln Center Theater, Kathleen Battle’s Underground Railroad recital, First Lady (Die Zauberfl?te), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth, Bloch), Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia), Penelope(Penelope), and featured artist in Lee Mingwei’s exhibit: Sonic Blossom with MetLiveArts.

Ms. Fox has been honored with several awards including: Loren Zachary Competition Finalist, HGO Concert of Arias Finalist, Grand finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, first place winner of the Joan Taub Ades Vocal competition, semi-finalist in the Elizabeth Connell dramatic soprano competition, and the Lotte Lenya emerging artist award.

An alumna of the Chautauqua Opera and Opera Saratoga young artist programs; Ms. Fox holds Bachelor and Master degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

Daniel Chapman

Daniel is a freelance designer, software engineer, educator, and the author of Motion (http://cue.ligthing). He is originally from New Mexico and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon. http://www.danielbchapman.com

Selected Design Credits

New York: On the VergeRestoration ComedyConstruction of the Human Heart, (The Acting Company) Of Mice and MenDamascus; Summer Theater of New Canaan: West Side StoryLegally BlondeHairsprayTwelfth Night; Guerilla Opera: BeowulfTroubled WaterPedr Solis No Exit; Opera Southwest: PagliacciTancrediAidaIl Turco in ItaliaLa BohemeDon GiovanniIl barbiere di Siviglia; New Mexico Ballet Co: The Wizard of Oz; Ash Lawn Opera: Susannah; Chicago: Cymbeline LifeboatThe Snow Queen; Ballet Reparatory Theater of New Mexico: A Midsummer Night's DreamSleeping BeautyBeauty and the Beast Southwest FolktalesBeyond the ClassicsMythical Wonders;

Joel Balzun

Praised as a "mature artist with a voluminous sound," baritone and composer Joel Balzun is establishing himself as a mature new voice in the future of music. His multi-faceted career has already led him to work with some of the world’s most respected musicians and ensembles.

From Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center, Mr. Balzun has appeared successfully on both the operatic and concert stages. As a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Mr. Balzun sang alongside Stephanie Blythe in a concert of American song, and Dawn Upshaw and Sanford Sylvan in Shostakovich's brooding Symphony No. 14. Other past appearances include the title roles in Don Giovanni and Gianni Schicchi, Ford (Falstaff), Marcello (La bohème) the Four Villains in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Prince Yeletskiy and Count Tomskiy (Pikovaya Dama), Albert (Werther), Belcore (L'elisir d'amore), Dr. Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Valentin (Faust), Sid (Albert Herring), and John Brooke (Adamo’s Little Women), among others. On the concert stage, Mr. Balzun has been a featured soloist in Copland's Old American Songs, Dvo?ák’s Te Deum, Fauré's Requiem, Haydn's The Creation, Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and numerous cantatas of Bach. His acclaimed performance of Bach's Johannes-Passion with the Rochester Bach Festival was recently broadcast multiple times across the United States.

In the competition circuit, Mr. Balzun has been a prize-winner in numerous competitions. Highlights include prizes from the The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Los Angeles District and Western Region), Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition, Houston Saengerbund Vocal Competition, Gwendolyn Roberts Young Artist Auditions, Orpheus National Vocal Competition, Houston Saengerbund Vocal Competition and the Rio Hondo Symphony Young Artist Competition. He has also been a finalist for Rochester International Voice Competition and a semi-finalist in the Loren L. Zachary Society, James Toland Vocal Arts and Annapolis Opera Vocal Competitions.

An avid proponent of the music of living and contemporary composers, Mr. Balzun won critical acclaim for his portrayal of the titular Joseph de Rocher in the South Florida premiere of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking with Miami Music Festival. He worked with the composer on this work, as well as the role of Charlie in excerpts from Three Decembers.  On the concert stage, he has championed rarely-performed works such as George Rochberg's String Quartet No. 7, as well as Peter Maxwell Davies's virtuosic Eight Songs for a Mad King, and numerous performances of Robert Denham's Sutter Creek, among others. In 2014, Mr. Balzun was a featured soloist at the CFAMC National Conference in 2014, where he gave the world premiere performances of works by Christopher Ashbaugh, David Fuentes, Jan Mittelstaedt and Benjamin Williams. He was looking forward to presenting the New York premiere of Lembit Beecher’s Sky on Swings with Opera Saratoga in 2020 but the production was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His professional debut in 2011 was in the world premiere of Peter Michael von der Nahmer's award winning opera, El canguro with California International Theatre Festival.

In May 2021, Mr. Balzun launched Black Dog Commission, a new commissioning series for art song repertoire which openly discusses life with mental illness. Inspired by Mr. Balzun’s own journey with depression, he looks forward to premiering a new work written for him by Tom Cipullo with poetry by Les Murray in spring 2022, with more projects to come in the future.

Alexis Enyart

Alexis Enyart is a rising orchestra and opera conductor praised for her musical finesse and technical grace. Since moving to Chicago in August of 2017 Alex has shot to prominence serving primarily as Music Director of Thompson Street Opera Company as well as guest conducting for Chicago Fringe Opera, Third Eye Theatre Ensemble, Chicago Vocal Arts Consortium, and Another Voice Collaborative. She has been well reviewed by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Classical Review, Chicago Theatre Review, Opera Box Score, Chicago Reader, and many others. In addition to all of this Alex was invited to participate in Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion as their first transgender conductor.

Alex is as comfortable on the podium as she is in the opera pit having made her international debut in Tomsk Russia with the Tomsk Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016 while finishing her Master’s in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Louisville. At the same time she also worked as the apprentice conductor with the Louisville Orchestra and Kentucky Opera as well as the Assistant Conductor for the Louisville Youth Orchestra. In 2017 Alex won the CODA conducting competition and was invited to work with Anthony Maeillo on La Gazza Ladra as a result. In 2018 Alex won the CCM Mozart Overture Competition. Alex works as a champion of new music and helped to bring As One, When Adonis Calls, Patience and Sarah to Chicago, among many others. She also champions young singers and advocates for every voice in her work with Chicago Vocal Arts Consortium which includes productions of La finta giardiniera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and L’elisir d’amore with many more to come!

As a transgender conductor Alexis strives to create a more equitable and diverse musical world. As such she has successfully chartered “Faulty Systems”, an annual program in which activists and artists come together to share stories of underrepresented communities or ideas through music, speech, poetry, dance and other mediums. Alexis also helped to launch the Chicago Vocal Arts Consortium’s sing–thru program, which functions to create an accessible space for young artists to experiment with musical styles and traditions following their education. You can also find Alexis working with ResonaTe an all transgender choir with a mission to foster acceptance of all voices and identities. Alexis believes that to conduct is an honor and privilege, and continues to work to support and strengthen the musical community she is privileged to be a part of.

Amy Hutchison

Amy Hutchison's "fascinating, brilliantly mounted double bill" productions of Donizetti's IL PIGMALIONE and RITA for Chicago Opera Theater wowed audiences and critics alike. Hutchison has also championed American opera throughout her career. She has staged AS ONE for Pensacola Opera, Alamo City Opera, and Chicago Fringe Opera, where she curated a Trans Artist Showcase at The Center on Halsted in conjunction with the production.  Her production of Missy Mazzoli’s SONG FROM THE UPROAR: THE LIVES AND DEATHS OF ISABELLE EBERHARDT was hailed as “imaginative” and “striking contemporary music theater.” She has directed William Bolcom’s A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE for Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Washington National Opera and Portland Opera. Her collaboration with Ricky Ian Gordon and Stacey Tappan, ONCE I WAS: SONGS BY RICKY IAN GORDON, was staged at the Chicago Cultural Center and recorded on the Blue Griffin label.

Hutchison’s production of William Grant Still’s epic masterwork TROUBLED ISLAND for South Shore Opera Company of Chicago was named the number one classical music event of 2013 by the Chicago Sun-Times. Other productions for South Shore Opera include: Steven M. Allen's THE POET, Joelle Lamarre’s THE VIOLET HOUR: THE LIFE OF LEONTYNE PRICE; Jonathan Stinson’s THE MARCH: A CIVIL RIGHTS OPERA PROJECT and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s DREAM LOVERS and AFRICAN ROMANCES. Other Chicago area productions include the American premiere of Paul Abraham's gorgeous jazz operetta THE FLOWER OF HAWAII and Leo Fall’s MADAME POMPADOUR (Folks Operetta), Ross Crean's THE TIMES ARE NIGHTFALL (Pride Films & Plays), FAUST (DuPage Opera), BRIGADOON (Music By the Lake), and Ned Rorem’s OUR TOWN (DePaul Opera Theatre). Productions nationwide include several productions of CARMEN (Kansas City, Milwaukee, Columbus), TURANDOT (Orlando), DON PASQUALE (Indianapolis), LA TRAVIATA (Costa Mesa), IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO (Boston), and Menotti's HELP! HELP! THE GLOBOLINKS! (Madison).

She has served on the directing staffs of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera.  She has staged the Maurice Sendak production of HANSEL & GRETEL for Opernhaus Zürich, The Juilliard School (televised for PBS: Live from Lincoln Center) and for the Canadian, San Diego, Indianapolis, and Baltimore opera companies.  As Associate Director, Hutchison has staged PORGY AND BESS throughout the United States and globally, including Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, L’Opéra National de Paris and opera houses in Düsseldorf, Lucca and Tokyo.

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Dedicated to artist training, Hutchison has been a faculty member of The Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Westminster Choir College and its CoOPERAtive Training Program, as well as directing and coaching the young artists of Lyric Opera's Ryan Artist Center and Houston Opera Studio.

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Yuki Izumihara

Yuki Izumihara is a Los Angeles based freelance scenic, projection designer for theater and opera, and a production designer for film.

Yuki has received her MFA in Entertainment Design from UCLA in 2016.

Robert Stahley

Tenor Robert Stahley, known for “bringing vociferous ring to the tenor line,” (South Florida Classical Review), is making waves throughout the operatic industry. He is a current member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein young artist program at LA Opera where he has performed roles such as Le Berger in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, Valcour in L’Amant Anonyme,  First Armored Man in Barrie Kosky’s famed production of Die Zauberflöte, and Parpignol in the North American premiere of Barrie Kosky’s La bohème. In the 2021 festival season, Robert will return to the Santa Fe Opera as a second-year Apprentice, where he will sing the role of The Captain in the world premiere of John Corigliano’s The Lord of Cries and will be featured in concert with Grammy Award winning Soprano Angel Blue. Recent engagements include the title role in The Tales of Hoffmann with Arbor Opera Theater, the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Messa Da Requiem with the Quad-City Symphony, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Lynn Philharmonia.  Previous performances include William Marshall in Regina with Opera Theater of St. Louis, scenes as Lenny in Of Mice and Men and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with the St. Louis Symphony, and Pang in Turandot with the Kentucky Symphony.  He also appeared as Trajan in a Workshop of Rufus Wainwright’s new opera Hadrian with the Canadian Opera Company.  He has been a Studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera where he covered the role of Rodolfo (La Boheme) and Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia).  Other significant roles include Candide (Candide) Idomeneo (Idomeneo), The Schoolmaster (The Cunning Little Vixen), Charlie (Mahagonny-Songspiel), The Lamplighter and Drunk (The Little Prince), Sam Kaplan (Street Scene), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), and Hubert Humphrey (Dark River).

Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Mr. Stahley recently made his Indianapolis Symphony debut singing arias from operas such as Tosca and Die Zauberflöte.  He has also been the tenor soloist for Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, St. Matthew Passion with the Amherst Bach Festival, the tenor soloist in Schubert's Mass in A-flat with CCM choirs, and appeared in several operatic scenes, such as Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Hoffmann (Les contes d’Hoffmann), The Duke (Rigoletto), and Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly).

Mr. Stahley won first prize in the 2019 Wagner Society of New York Competition, was a third prize winner in the 2018 Gerda Lissner Vocal Competition, placed first in the 2017 Piccolo Vocal Competition, and was a finalist in the 2018 Mildred Miller Competition. He completed his Artist Diploma and Masters at the College Conservatory of Music. He has bowed with opera companies such as Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Arbor Opera Theater, Palm Beach Opera, and Cincinnati Opera.

Logan Tanner

Praised for his “striking musicality, clarity, and strong coloratura” (Opera Canada), countertenor Logan Tanner has performed on operatic stages throughout the United States and abroad. He recently performed the role of Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and “commanded the role of Oberon charmingly” (Opera Canada) in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Halifax Opera Festival.

 In the 2021-2022 season, Tanner will make company debuts with Opera San Jose as the Spirit in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Opera Santa Barbara in the role of Athamas in Handel’s Semele and with Gulfshore Opera as Prince Orlofsky in J. Strauss’s Die Fledermaus.

 Tanner has garnered awards in numerous competitions, placing first in the Choralis Young Artist Competition, Ise-Shima International Singing Competition, New Opera Stars Vocal Competition, New York Classical Music Society International Competition, and the Vano Visioli International Opera Competition. He took third prize in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition and 5th in the Opera Tools International Competition, and has won the American Prize in Opera and the Pasadena Vocal Competition Special Encouragement Award. In addition, Tanner was granted honorable mention by the NOMEA International Competition and the Vienna New Year Concert International Competition.

 Tanner has been a Stern fellow at SongFest, and a Vocal Fellow at The Music Academy of the West, where he worked with famed mezzo-soprano, Marilyn Horne. He has been engaged as soloist with the Pacific Symphony, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Europa, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, New York Repertory Orchestra, the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, Choralis, Chorus Austin, New York Chamber Choir, the Henry Purcell Society of Boston, La Fiocco, the Arcadia Players, Monmouth Civic Chorus, the Westchester Oratorio Society, and the Sparkill Concert Series.

 Tanner’s concert repertoire spans a wide breadth of material, and he is known for bringing a flowing bel canto dimension to the alto solos in Handel’s Messiah, the Roasting Swan in Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Brahms Viola Songs, and the treble solos in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, which he performed alongside Jamie Bernstein, author, and daughter of Leonard Bernstein. Tanner has also appeared in concert alongside renowned artists including Cynthia Phelps of the New York Philharmonic, and Martin Katz. Tanner will make several international debuts in the 2021 season including appearances in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and Germany.

 A native of Texas, Mr. Tanner started his musical studies as a tenor at Baylor University and went on to graduate studies at Westminster Choir College. There he studied with Christopher Arneson who encouraged him to become a countertenor. Mr. Tanner dove into the repertoire and found it a perfect match.

 He entered the 2017 New York Classical Music Society International Competition and won it. “It was kind of mind-blowing,” he said. “I never looked back after that.”

Sarah Coit

In 2018, Mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit was heard in several recital performances as a Vocal Fellow with Ravinia's Steans Music Institute and made several important house and role debuts. Opera News praised her performance in Le nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Theatre: "Sarah Coit's burnished mezzo-soprano gave her Cherubino a seductive tinge. Her pure, lovely "Voi che sapete" confirmed her bright future, made all the more likely by her undeniable aptitude for physical comedy."

In the 2019-20 season, Sarah performed Mercédès in Carmen with Opera Tampa. Covering Daniela Mack as Rosmira in Handel’s Partenope with San Francisco Opera, plus a concert engagement as the mezzo soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New West Symphony were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, Sarah sings Addison Moore in the world premiere film of Clint Borzoni and John de los Santos’ The Copper Queen with Arizona Opera, Varvara in Katya Kabanova with West Edge Opera, Rosina in The Barber of Seville with Utah Opera, Messiah with Winston-Salem Symphony, American Bach Soloists, and Indianapolis Symphony. In 2022, she makes house and role debuts with Opera Santa Barbara as Juno in Handel’s Semele and San Diego Opera as Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

In the 2018-19 season, Sarah performed the role of Adonis in the world premiere of Dan Visconti and Cerise Jacobs' ‘Interactive video game opera’ PermaDeath with White Snake Projects in Boston. She made her Seattle Opera debut as Mercédès in Carmen, performed at the Ravinia Festival as a soloist in Bernstein’s Songfest, joined West Edge Opera as Jenny Diver in The Threepenny Opera, sang her first Olga in Eugene Onegin with Livermore Valley Opera, sang the Vivaldi Gloria and Bach Magnificat with the Master Chorale of South Florida, and was heard in a special New Year’s Eve concert with American Bach Soloists joined by Hadleigh Adams.

Her repertoire includes such roles as Nancy in Albert Herring, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, the title role in Giulio Cesare, and the Waitress in the World Premiere of Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight.

In the summer of 2015, Sarah was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis where she covered Richard in the American Premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart. She spent two years as a Resident Artist with Utah Opera where she sang the Shepherd, White Cat, and Squirrel in L’Enfant et les sortilèges with the Utah Symphony and performed the roles of Mercédès in Carmen and Zerlina in Don Giovanni on the mainstage. As an apprentice artist at the Santa Fe Opera, she covered the roles of Erika in Barber's Vanessa and Laurene Powell Jobs in the World Premiere of Mason Bates' The (R)evolution of Steve JobsAs Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Classical Review remarked "...mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit distinguished herself as Alisa, especially in the gorgeous sextet."

She was a 2017 National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received prizes from the George London Foundation and the Handel Aria Competition. She is the 2020 recipient of the American Bach Soloist’s Jeffrey Thomas Award and was a runner-up in the “Best Opera Singer” category for 2019-2020 season San Francisco Classical Voice Audience Choice Awards.

A native of Spring Hill, FL, Sarah holds degrees in Music Studies and Theatre Performance from the University of South Florida and a Masters degree from the University of Michigan.

Brandon Baruch

Brandon Baruch is a Los Angeles-based light artist who specializes in designing experimental theater, opera, dance, and immersive performance. This is Brandon's first production with Opera Santa Barbara. Opera design highlights include Overland Industry's Iceland (Ford Amphitheatre, Los Angeles); Four Larks Frankenstein (The Wallis, Beverly Hills—Ovation Award); and Duke Ellington's Queenie Pie (Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater). Other design highlights include The Duat (Center Theatre Group's Digital Stage); The Demise (New York Musical Festival); Bataré (West Coast Tour); Dana Foglia Dance's VATIC (LA, Long Beach, and NYC); and The Second City's Twist Your Dickens (Kirk Douglas Theater, Los Angeles.) In 2017, Brandon made his European design debut with Ghost Road Company's Asterion at The Grotowski Institute in Wroc?aw, Poland. His design work has also been seen in New York, Chicago, Tempe, and throughout California. In July 2021, Brandon designed and helped launch Liquid Light Flight, a trapeze and aerial arts festival at Wild Arts Collective (New Paltz, NY), a community of makers devoted to igniting new ideas, living sustainably, and sharing access to artful spaces immersed in nature. The most intimate piece Brandon has designed was for an audience of one in the immersive theater piece Hamlet Mobile (Capital W—Touring.)

Adam Crinson

ADAM CRINSON IS A SCENIC DESIGNER FOR THEATER, OPERA, AND DANCE. HE CURRENTLY RESIDES IN NEW YORK CITY WORKING PRIMARILY AS A FREELANCE ARTIST. ADAM HAS NOW DESIGNED SCENERY AND COLLABORATED ON OVER 100 PRODUCTIONS WITH COMPANIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES.

ADAM BEGAN HIS CAREER AS A DESIGNER IN 2008 IN METRO DETROIT. HE SERVED AS THE TECHNICAL DIRECTOR WITH THE JEWISH ENSEMBLE THEATRE FROM 2011-2013 WHILE ALSO COLLABORATING AND DESIGNING PRODUCTIONS WITH THE RINGWALD, MATRIX THEATRE CO., ARTXDETROIT, MICHIGAN OPERA THEATRE AND WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY.

IN THE SPRING OF 2013 ADAM MOVED TO CHICAGO TO CONTINUE AND ADVANCE HIS WORK IN THE DESIGN FIELD. IN THE TWO YEARS THAT HE SPENT IN CHICAGO ADAM WORKED WITH SUCH COMPANIES AS SUGAR CREEK OPERA, PEGASUS THEATRE CO., TEATRO VISTA, BRAVO!, AND LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO.

ADAM MOVED TO NEW YORK CITY FOLLOWING HIS FIFTH CONSECUTIVE SEASON WITH DES MOINES METRO OPERA. HE BEGAN WORKING WITH THEM IN 2012 AS PROPS MASTER AND TRANSITIONED INTO THE ROLE OF ASSISTANT SCENIC DESIGNER IN 2014, WHILE ALSO SERVING AS SCENIC DESIGNER ON THEIR SECOND STAGES SERIES. THIS SUMMER HE WILL RETURN AS THE ASSISTANT SCENIC DESIGNER ON CANDIDE, WOZZECK, AND LA BOHEME WHILE ALSO SERVING AS THE SCENIC DESIGNER FOR THE 2ND STAGE'S PRODUCTION OF BON APPETIT FEATURING JOYCE CASTLE AS JULIA CHILD.

IN JANUARY OF 2017 ADAM COLLABORATED WITH KRISTINE MCINTYRE AND KATHY MAXWELL ON AN IMMERSIVE PRODUCTION OF DAVID T. LITTLE's OPERA SOLDIER SONGS. A BRAND NEW PRODUCTION AT A LIVE MILITARY POST, CAMP DODGE IOWA ALLOWED DES MOINES METRO OPERA TO TRANSFORM ONE OF THEIR HALLS AND EVEN CONTRIBUTED TWO HUMVEE's FOR SET DRESSING AND ADDED EFFECT. IN OCTOBER OF 2018 THE SAME TEAM REUNITED TO COLLABORATE ON AN IMMERSIVE AND IN THE ROUND PRODUCTION OF TOM CIPPULO'S GLORY DENIED.

OTHER UPCOMING PROJECTS INCLUDE THE COLLEGIATE PREMIER OF ELIZABETH CREE AT LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, KISS ME KATE WITH SIMPSON COLLEGE, THE MAGIC FLUTE WITH OPERA IOWA AND BON APPETIT WITH DES MOINES METRO OPERA.

ADAM WAS BORN IN ROYAL OAK, MI AND ATTENDED WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN.

Mariachi Los Camperos

The Grammy award winning ensemble, Mariachi Los Camperos was founded in 1961 by Jose Natividad “Nati” Cano Ruiz. Mr. Cano played a fundamental role in the development of mariachi music in the United States by training and mentoring new generations of mariachi musicians. The Mariachi “Giant” was a visionary leader that wanted to take the mariachi performance out of customary locations such as Cantinas and into concert halls where celebrities performed. Nati Cano fulfilled his dream by presenting Los Camperos and performing at casinos in Las Vegas, Reno, Sparks, Lake Tahoe and other places where mariachis had never previously performed. Los Camperos became well known and in 1964, they were the first Mariachi to perform in New York’s Carnegie Hall. In 1969, Mr. Cano opened the first ever Mariachi Dine and Show at “La Fonda Casa de Los Camperos” now known as a Landmark in the city of Los Angeles, California. Today, mariachi restaurants all over the world are modeled after La Fonda.

Mariachi Los Camperos, one of the most popular mariachi ensembles in the world, is noted for innovative shows and distinction as a concert ensemble. The group has performed for over 60 years on stage and television, including various PBS specials, “In Performance at the White House”, “The Spirit of Mexico”, “Viva La Tradicion” and others. Motion pictures such as: “Sex in the City 2”, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Jerry Maguire” and many more. The Grammy Award-winning ensemble has recorded and performed with many artist including Pedro Fernandez, Pepe Aguilar, Angeles Ochoa, Eugenia Leon, Lila Downs, Alejandro Fernandez, Luis Miguel and many more. Including, the collaboration on Linda Ronstadt’s 1987 milestone album, “Canciones de Mi Padre” and Ronstadt’s sequel album, “Mas Canciones” (released in 1992), they toured with the singer nationwide.

On October 3rd, 2014 Los Camperos mourned the death of Nati Cano. His passing was greatly felt by followers, students and performers worldwide. Mr. Cano left the group to the musical director, Jesus "Chuy" Guzman whom has served as the musical director since 1992.

Chuy Guzman is known for his musical arrangements that highlight the skills and voices of the group. He is widely recognized as arranger, director, instructor, and musician in the genre of Mariachi music. Mr. Guzman has served as head instructor for numerous international mariachi festivals in the United States and Mexico. He is the Musical Director for the Mariachi Master Apprentice Program (MMAP) in San Fernando and continues as the instructor for Music of Mexico, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Under Guzman’s Direction, in 2006 Mariachi Los Camperos received a Grammy nomination for their Album “Llegaron Los Camperos”, In 2008 Mariachi Los Camperos took home a Grammy Award for Best Regional Mexican Music Album with “Amor, Dolor y Lagrimas". They later released a 2015 Grammy-nominated musical tribute to Nati Cano called: Tradición, Arte, y Pasión, this album gave Mariachi Los Camperos a Grammy nomination. Determined for a Grammy Award, In January 2020 at the 62nd Grammy award celebration, Mariachi Los Camperos took home another Grammy Award with their album release “De Ayer Para Siempre” for Best Regional Mexican Music Album.

Raphaella Medina

Commended for her colorful timbre and moving performances,
mezzo-soprano Raphaella Medina has made appearances in opera, concert, musical theater, and theater throughout the United States and internationally.

In the 2021 - 2022 season, Raphaella joins Opera Santa Barbara as a Chrisman Studio Artist, performing the role of Diana in the mariachi opera, Cruzar la cara de la luna.

This past summer, Raphaella was a Summer Concert Artist with Florentine Opera, performing concerts throughout the Lake Michigan region.

During the 2019/20 season, Raphaella joined Opera Columbus as a Resident Artist, covering Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Ottavia in an innovative production of L’incoronazione di Poppea, as well as giving concert performances with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Central Ohio Symphony. She was also named a Bonnie Bell Encouragement Award winner by the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.

In the 2018/19 season, Raphaella made her debut with BARN Opera as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, originated the roles of Shop Woman and Mrs. Leak in the world premiere of Lolly Willowes (MATCH, Houston), debuted as a soloist with the Simpson University Symphony and the Paradise Symphony, co-wrote and premiered a devised theater work, SMALL UMBRELLAS, and made her television debut as Isabella in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure with Spiritus Productions/KIXE Channel 9 in collaboration with the PBS documentary series, Shakespeare Uncovered. Raphaella was also named a San Francisco District Winner and a Western Region Finalist in the 2018/19 Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.

Previous season highlights include Raphaella’s role and house debut as Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Opera in the Heights (2017), originating the role of Oldest Daughter in the world premiere of The Woman of Salt (2017), singing the title role in The Ugly Duckling with Opera Saratoga (2018), and being announced the winner of Mobile Opera’s Madame Rose Palmai-Tenser Competition (2018).

Raphaella has performed roles with Opera in the Heights, BARN Opera, Opera Saratoga, Seagle Music Colony, Moores Opera Center, and the FSU Opera. Favorite roles include Rosina, Stéphano, Dorabella, Dolly Oblonsky (Anna Karenina), and Isabela (La hija de Rappaccini).

In addition to her work on the opera stage, Raphaella has participated in Carnegie Hall’s series of masterclasses led by Joyce DiDonato which were broadcast internationally by Medici.tv. She has also participated in Marilyn Horne’s Carnegie Hall masterclass series The Song Continues and has appeared in recital with Stephanie Blythe.

Raphaella holds a Master of Music from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Florida State University College of Music.

Bernardo Bermudez

Venezuelan American Tenor Bernardo Bermudez, started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares, in Caracas Venezuela. He has recently began essaying roles and repertoire for the Tenor voice. Currently living in the United States he has performed in productions and concerts with companies including San Diego Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Long Beach Opera, Anchorage Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, The San Diego Symphony, Opera North, Union Avenue Opera, West Bay Opera, Livermore Valley Opera and The Music Academy of the West to name a few. His operatic roles performed as a Tenor include Don Jose in Carmen, and will be performing The Messenger in Aida in San Diego Opera production in fall 2019. As a Lyric Baritone roles include Figaro in Il barbiere di SivigliaStanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named DesireDiego Rivera in FridaDanilo in The Merry WidowSilvio in PagliacciEscamillo in CarmenValentin in FaustBelcore in L’elisir d’amore, the title role in Don GiovanniPapageno in Die ZauberflöteCount Almaviva in Le nozze di FigaroVidal Hernando in Luisa FernandaAeneas in Dido & Aeneas, other roles include El Dancairo and Morales in CarmenMarullo in RigolettoSchaunard in La BohemePrice Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, as well as Morald in the North America stage premier of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. He participated as a voice fellow at the prestigious Summer Festivals at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California, under the direction of famous American Mezzo Soprano Marilyn Horne, Opera North in New Hampshire under the direction of Louis Burkot as well as Opera Neo in San Diego California under the direction of Peter Kozma. He received 1st place in NATS LA singing competition, 1st place winner in AEIOU, 39th Annual Opera Scholarship and Competition, finalist in the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Opera Competition, Opera Buffs Grant recipient, semifinalist in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, recipient of the Doug Acker Memorial Vocal Scholarship, and 2nd place winner in the Virginia Hawk Vocal Competition. Most recently he has received the Music Academy of the West Alumni Enterprise award in 2019 and 2020. Mr. Bermudez is also co-founder of Opera4Kids a new non-profit organization, whose mission is to use the transformative power of live vocal and classical music performance, to educate young audiences about theatre and music, in a culturally enriching environment.

Jessica Gonzalez-Rodriguez

Ms. Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Mexican-American Mezzo-Soprano, is known for her “warm tones and a lyrical upper range showed her voice to be flexible and easy to listen to” –Laurie D. Goldenhersh, LaurisList. She most recently made her Opera Santa Barbara mainstage debut as Renata in Cruzar la cara de la Luna. A three-time Opera Buffs grant recipient, highlight engagements include the role of Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with the 2021 International Summer Opera Festival of Morelia, where she studied with superstar Soprano, Jennifer Rowley, Eufemia in Bizet’s Don Procopio with Pacific Opera Project, Frida Kahlo in Frida with the 2019 Opera Steamboat Summer Intensive, Prince Orlofsky in Vienna, Austria with the 2019 Vienna Summer Music Festival and as Marcellina with the 2018 Prague Summer Nights Festival, in collaboration with world- renowned tenor, Lawrence Brownlee and contralto, Rosalind Plowright. She is a current member of the 21/22 Chrisman Studio Artist program. Recent engagements La Seconda Cercatrice (Suor Angelica, Virtual Production), The Abbess (Suor Angelica), Mercedes (Carmen), Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), Hansel (Hansel und Gretel), Olga (The Merry Widow), Siebel (Faust), Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Nancy (Albert Herring) in partnership with the LA Opera Britten/100 Celebration and Suor Dolcina (Suor Angelica). She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Mary’s College and a Master of Music degree from California State University, Los Angeles. She has also been a member of the Santa Barbara Opera Chorus since 2018. She coaches with Douglas Sumi and studies voice under Reid Bruton.

 

David Hanlon

David Hanlon is a composer, conductor, and pianist praised by Maestro Patrick Summers as “one of the major compositional voices of the young generation.” David is currently writing The Pigeon Keeper with librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, commissioned by the Opera For All Voices consortium led by Santa Fe Opera.  David’s last collaboration with Stephanie was the chamber opera After the Storm, whose premiere he conducted at Houston Grand Opera. The Houston Chronicle lauded the score as “haunting” and “stirringly successful.” David has often written work for Houston Grand Opera (HGOco), including his chamber opera Past the Checkpoints about undocumented immigrants (featured in Opera America’s 2014 New Works Forum) the chamber vocal piece The Ninth November I Was Hiding, about his grandfather's arrest during Kristallnacht, and Power, based on a text by a high-schooler about bullying.

David often works with Wolf Trap Opera, which recently premiered his orchestration of Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon, praised by Opera News for its many“charms” and its “savory, nearly Straussian shimmer.” His other Wolf Trap commissions include the children’s opera Listen, Wilhelmina! With Wilhelmina librettist Kathleen Kelly, David wrote Texanische Liebeslieder about German immigration to Texas, based on oral histories in the Texas German dialect archives at UT-Austin. Since its premiere, it has been revived several times in Austin and Ann Arbor, and broadcast on Austin’s KMFA.

David is also a conductor with a focus in new work, praised by the Washington Post for his interpretive skills and “precise baton.” Most recently, he conducted at Houston Grand Opera the world premiere of El Milagro del Recuerdo, which he also co-arranged. Previously, David made his debut at Chicago Opera Theatre, conducting Stefan Weisman and David Cote's The Scarlet Ibis. Among other world premieres, David has long been associated with the mariachi operas Cruzar la cara de la luna (World premiere and recording, as well as its revivals in Houston, Lyric Chicago of Chicago, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, and New York City Opera.) and El Pasado Nunca Se Termina (World premiere at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and revivals at San Diego and HGO and Fort Worth.)  He has orchestrated numbers from both Mariachi operas for Minnesota Opera’s Opera Afuera concert in 2021.

In addition to his commissioned work at HGO, David has conducted Gregory Spears’ The Bricklayer, Jack Perla's River of Light, and Jeeyoung Kim’s From My Mother’s Mother.  He assisted on numerous productions, including the premieres of Spears's O Columbia, Iain Bell's A Christmas Carol, André Previn's Brief Encounter and Christopher Theofanidis's The Refuge in addition to productions of Lohengrin, Tosca, Serse, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.

David served as Lorin Maazel’s assistant conductor for the Castleton Festival, where he prepared La Fanciulla del West for performances in Castleton and Spain, prepared both chorus and orchestra for concert performances, at times substituting for the Maestro in those concerts on short notice. He is also former Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera. As an Adler, he conducted the premiere of Jack Perla’s Love/Hate and debuted his four hand piano piece ¡Bang Kiss Kiss Bang! He assisted on SFO operas including Nixon in China, Siegfried, Don Giovanni, and the premiere of Heart of a Soldier.  He also works as an assistant conductor and chorus master at Wolf Trap Opera and Washington Concert Opera and as a pianist at Dallas Opera and Philadelphia Opera.

David is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Wesleyan University. He lives in Washington D.C. with his wife and two daughters.

Jennifer Hong

Brian Galura

Dan Hone

Debbie Bruce

Christina Pezzarossi

Hailed for her "fleet vocal technique" and "resonant, smoky mezzo", Mezzo-soprano Christina Pezzarossi is quickly gaining recognition as a distinguished and versatile young artist in the world of opera. Originally from Miles City, Montana, she received her Master's degree from the The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

In the 2020 season, Christina made her debut with Pacific Opera Project in a critically acclaimed drive-in performance of Cosi fan tutte (under the parody title COVID fan tutti) as Dorabella.

For the 2018/2019 season, Christina joined Pensacola Opera as a Resident Artist, singing The Witch in their touring production of Hansel and Gretel, Gertrude in Gounod's Romeo et Juliette and Paula in Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas. She also was an Apprentice Artist at Central City Opera, making her company and role debut as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and performed in, Encore: A Musical Revue Concert. She received the John and Ginny Starky Award from Central City Opera at the end of the summer.

Christina has spent two summers as an Apprentice with Des Moines Metro Opera, covering Mrs. Segstrom in Sondheim's A Little Night Music and The Stewardess in Jonathan Dove's Flight.

Christina’s repertoire includes the title role in Handel’s Agrippina, Minerva in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Hermia in Purcell’s Fairy Queen, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Flora in La traviata, and Alisa in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

She has performed with Opera San Jose, Opera NEO, The Pacific Symphony, Boulder Opera, Emerald City Opera, and received an Encouragement Award from the San Francisco District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

 

LaMarcus Miller

American Bass-Baritone LaMarcus Miller hails from New York City, but is now based in Los Angeles. Mr. Miller has performed at prestigious American venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center (alongside Wynton Marsalis), The Famed Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars and TEDMED in Washington D.C.  His operatic credits include Lance Corporal Philip Houston in Fallujah, for New York City Opera, Long Beach Opera, and the Kennedy Center; Freddie Stowers (Cover) in LA Opera’s acclaimed concert production of Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing. Alidoro in La Cenerentola for Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee; Count Des Grieux in Manon, and both Il Commendatore and the title role in Don Giovanni for New York Lyric Opera.; Montano in Otello for Utah Festival Opera; both Albert and Johann in Werther for Martha Cardona Opera; Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus for Sugar Creek Opera; Palemon in Thaïs and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor for MSM Opera (Manhattan School of Music) and Barone di Trombonok in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims for Mannes Opera.

Mr. Millers Oratorio credits include bass solo’s in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Jenkins Armed Man Mass for Peace, Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata and an appearance with the Eorzean Symphony as guest soloist for Final Fantasy XIV (music by Masayoshi Soken) performed at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Kyle Albertson

Renowned not only for his luxurious voice, confidence, and style, but also for his versatility and ability to bring a character to life on stage, bass-baritone Kyle Albertson is taking the business by storm.  In his recent début as Wotan in Wagner’s epic masterpiece Die Walküre, in Maestro Jaap van Zweden final performance with the Dallas Symphony, Theater Jones exclaimed, “the most impressive aspect of this performance came undoubtedly from Wotan…his voice masterfully brought the character to life…Albertson’s interactions throughout the performance with his most beloved daughter, Brünnhilde were ingenuously convincing. Coupled with Albertson’s commanding, though endearing, baritone, these moments did not seem like an opera concert at all, rather a fully realized engagement of dramatic and musical interpretation.”

The Dallas News called his performance “gripping… I can’t recall the opera’s final parting of father and daughter so emotionally intense…this high-intensity performance will surely rank as a legend in Dallas musical history.” And the Texas Classical Review declared he “delivered a quietly dramatic presence in his monologue relatively early on in Act II which gradually built up to the final scene three hours later in which he allowed his luxuriant tone quality to resonate at full volume before slipping gently into the mournful farewell aria ‘Leb’ wohl’.”  This tour-de-force performance left no doubt that the next American Wotan had arrived.

Mr. Albertson made his European debut at Opera Köln in Germany as Frank Murrant in Street Scene and will return to Europe in 2022 to perform the title role in Der fliegende Holländer and Wotan in Loriot’s Der Ring an einem Abend for Opera Graz. In addition, he will return to the Metropolitan as Angelotti in Tosca.  2020 and 2021 Metropolitan Opera engagements were to include his debut as Angelotti in Tosca, and covering the roles of the Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer, Claggart in Billy Budd, and Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde. He was also slated to make his role debut as Jochaanan in Salome and Pizarro in Fidelio.

Albertson’s first foray into Wagner’s demanding vocal universe came in his house début at Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Das Rheingold, in which he subsequently performed the role of Donner in Minnesota Opera’s production shortly thereafter. He then went on to cover Greer Grimsley’s Wotan in Francesca Zambello’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen for San Francisco Opera and returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Siegfried.

Other recent engagements have included his debut as Scarpia in Tosca for Virginia Opera, DeGuiche in Cyrano with Opera Carolina, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti with Opera Parallel at SFJazz, JP Morgan in the World Première of Tesla with SoBe Arts in Miami, and Escamillo in Carmen and Scarpia in Tosca for the Phoenicia Festival.

Matthew Grills

Opera News exclaims that in San Francisco Opera’s Sweeney Todd, “Tenor Matthew Grills made the strongest impression, delivering Tobias’s ‘Not While I’m Around’ with touching tenderness.” In the 2020-21 season, he returns to the roles of Ernesto in Don Pasquale with Opera Santa Barbara and Ramiro in La cenerentola with Nashville Opera as well as joins Santa Fe Opera as Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His return to Seattle Opera as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, his role and company debut as Gonsalve in L’heure espagnole with the Israel Philharmonic, the Shepherd in Oedipus Rex with Opera Philadelphia, and Handel’s Messiah with the Columbus Symphony were cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic as were his returns to Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Utah Opera and the Sacramento Philharmonic last season. Earlier in the 2019-20 season, he returned to Seattle Opera for his role debut as Ramiro in La cenerentola. He also made company debuts with Metropolitan Opera as the First Waiter in Der Rosenkavalier in addition to joining the company for its production of Die Zauberflote.

Recently he made house debuts with both Opera San Jose singing his first performances of Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and with New Orleans Opera in a return to his beloved characterization of Pedrillo in the same opera as well as sang his first performances of Ernesto in Don Pasquale with Berkshire Opera Festival. He returned to the Bayerische Staatsoper to reprise Kedril in From the House of the Dead and to Portland Opera for the company’s “Big Night” concert as well as joined Dallas Opera for a debut as the Dance Master in Manon Lescaut and for the company’s production of Falstaff. On the concert stage, he sang Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony, a concert celebrating Bernstein’s Broadway with the Florida Orchestra, as well as Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and excerpts of L’elisir d’amore with Das Musikkollegium Wintherthur.

Sought after in classical musical theatre repertoire as well, he recently returned to San Francisco Opera as Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd. In the realm of bel canto repertoire, he made company debuts with Seattle Opera as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Opéra national de Lorraine as Idreno in Semiramide, and the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul, Korea and Portland Opera for Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. He is a former member of the ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper, where his roles included further performances of include further performances of Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos as well as Kedril in From the House of the Dead, Danieli in Les vêpres siciliennes, and Vierter Knappe in Parsifal, all new productions; Don Gaspard in La favorite, among others. Other recent performances for the tenor include Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Atlanta Opera, David, Jeremiah, and the Voice of God in Weill’s The Road of Promise with Kristjan Järvi conducting the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, Fenton in Falstaff with Wolf Trap Opera, as well as Almaviva in family performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia and Nathaniel in Les contes d'Hoffmann with San Francisco Opera in addition to joining the company for its production of Così fan tutte.

Prior to joining the ensemble at the Bayerische Staatsoper, he was a member of the company’s prestigious Opernstudio and sang title role of Le comte Ory and Fabrizio in Martin?’s Mirandolina in the historic Cuvilliés Theatre, Ernesto in Donizetti’s Il giovedì grasso at the Schloss Nymphenberg, as well as his first performances of Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail on the company’s mainstage. He sang a solo recital at the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center presented by the Vocal Arts D.C. and the Washington Performing Arts Society and recently joined the Hartford Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah. He is a former Resident Artist with Portland Opera and Apprentice Artist of Santa Fe Opera. At the Seagle Music Colony, he sang Ferrando in Così fan tutte.

Mr. Grills is the unprecedented winner of both grand prize in Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and first prize in the Lotte Lenya Competition in the same year, 2012. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music.

Max Potter

Praised by Opera News for her "relish and energy," mezzo-soprano Max Potter is an up-and-coming artist celebrated for her warmth of tone and dramatic presence.

This season, Max performed the world premiere of Constantine Caravassilis' song cycle Epiphany for mezzo-soprano and cello, and returned to The Muse's Creative Artistry Project for a concert series of opera classics and a gala performance at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion for Governor Asa Hutchinson. Max joins the Opera Santa Barbara Chrisman Studio Artist Program in 2021, where she intended to make her debut as Meg in Adamo's Little Women (canceled due to COVID-19) and will perform the role of Flora Bervoix in Verdi's La Traviata.

On the concert stage, she was contracted to make her symphonic debut as the Alto Soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at The Washington National Cathedral (performances rescheduled for the 2021-22 season), to return to The Phoenix Ensemble for performances of Ned Rorem's song cycle Ariel (canceled due to COVID-19), and to present Elgar’s Sea Pictures for the Duban Recital Series (canceled due to COVID-19).

In the 2019-20 season, Max Potter was set to make company debuts with Maryland Lyric Opera as La Ciesca in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and The Chautauqua Opera Company as Jenny Reefer in Virgil Thompson's The Mother of Us All. She was to make her feature film debut as La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, with Mark Delavan starring as the title role. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, these events were canceled or rescheduled for later seasons.

Max began the 2018-19 season with Opera Southwest, where she starred as Clarina in Rossini's La Cambiale di Matrimonio, and covered Ortrud and sang Dritte Edelknabe in Wagner's Lohengrin. Following this engagement, she joined Salt Marsh Opera for Mozart's Die Zauberflöte as Second Lady and Papagena. The season also included the world premiere of City Life, a collection of songs by New York-based composer and poet Steve Bloom. Max made her company debut with Bare Opera as Damigella in L'incoronazione di Poppea and her role debut as Dorabella in Mozart's Così fan tutte for The North Shore Music Festival.

Highlights from past seasons include covering the role of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. Honing her craft at Aspen Opera Center, Max performed classic roles such as Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), L'enfant (L'enfant et les sortileges), and Zerlina (Don Giovanni). She covered Meg Page in Verdi's Falstaff and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd. Further highlights include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Tebaldo in Verdi's Don Carlo with Vocal Productions NYC; Charlotte in Massenet's Werther with the Martha Cardona Opera; and Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte) for Festival of the Arts BOCA. Other roles include Mercedes (Carmen), Concepcion (L'heure espagnole), Flora Bervoix (La Traviata), and Zita (Gianni Schicchi).

Equally at home on the concert stage, Max is passionate about collaborating with composers and bringing their new works to audiences. With New Camerata Opera, she was featured in The Sacred Feminine, an innovative performance piece celebrating the work of Emily Dickinson through spoken word and art song. At Des Moines Metro Opera, Max sang Heggie's The Breaking Waves in recital for the composer. She has been a featured soloist at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Washington National Cathedral, Festival of the Arts BOCA, and the Oklahoma International Mozart Festival. Additional concert highlights include Ravel's Shéhérazade, Mozart's Requiem and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Haydn's Sancti Nicolai Messe, Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, and Carissimi's oratorios, Jepthe and Jonas.

She is an alumna of The Aspen Opera Center, Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Program, CoOPERAtive, The Opera Southwest Apprentice Artist Program, and New York's International Vocal Arts Institute. She is a recipient of awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, The Young Musicians Foundation, and Westminster Choir College's CoOPERAtive Program. Max has been a semi-finalist for The Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, The Premiere Opera International Vocal Competition, The Paris Opera Competition, the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, and the MIOpera Vocal Competition.

Max Potter holds a Masters Degree from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, and a Bachelors of Music from Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music.

Matthew Greenblatt

A native of Port Washington, New York, Tenor Matthew Greenblatt is thrilled to be joining Opera Santa Barbara this season as a Chrisman Studio Artist. For the 2020/2021 season he will be singing the role of Gastone in La Traviata, study-covering the role of Alfredo, study-covering the role of Tonio in La fille du régiment, and participating in OSB’s studio artist concerts. Most recently, Mr. Greenblatt was a featured Tenor soloist in Eugene Opera’s New Year’s Eve Virtual Gala Concert. Following OSB’s season, in the summer of 2021, Mr. Greenblatt will be covering the role of Nemorino with The Southern Illinois Music Festival. He will also be the Tenor Soloist in an outdoor concert series with the New Philharmonic Orchestra in Illinois, along with his wife Brooklyn Snow. Earlier in the 2020 season, Matthew returned to DuPage Opera, playing the role of St. Brioche in the Merry Widow. He also recently made his role debut as the Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Saltworks Opera. In the 2018-19 season, Mr. Greenblatt returned to Palm Beach Opera for his second year as an Apprentice Artist, covering the roles of Candide in Candide, and Spoletta in Tosca. Additionally, in the 2017-18 season, Mr. Greenblatt was selected as a finalist in the New York International Vocal Competition, and Semi-finalist in the Opera Index Competition.

 

Mr. Greenblatt earned his Bachelors of Music from the University of Michigan, and his Masters of Music from Mannes in New York.

Brooklyn Snow

A native of Beaverton, Oregon, Soprano Brooklyn Snow is a rising international artist with extensive performance experience in both Europe and the United States. She is thrilled to be joining Opera Santa Barbara as a Chrisman Studio Artist for the 2020-2021 season. Mrs. Snow will be performing the role of Annina and covering Violetta in La Traviata, covering Marie in La fille du Régiment and participating in OSB studio artist concerts. This past October, Ms. Snow was a finalist in Eugene Opera’s Diva Cage Match Competition, and also a featured soprano for their virtual New Year's Eve Gala Concert. She returns to Union Avenue Opera this summer to sing the roles of Olympia, Giuliette and Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. This past spring, Ms. Snow sang her first Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Bend, and in June 2021 will reprise the role with The Southern Illinois Music Festival. In August she will tour as a featured soprano soloist with the New Philharmonic Orchestra’s outdoor summer concert series with her husband, tenor, Matthew Greenblatt. Prior to COVID19, she was scheduled to debut at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall and at Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist for Choirs of America’s Emerging Artists Series, and hopes to be performing there in 2021.

In the summer of 2019, Ms. Snow performed as Cunegonde alongside renowned soprano Christine Brewer in an inspired staging of Candide to open Union Avenue Opera’s 25th season, receiving excellent reviews and an Outstanding Achievement in Opera award nomination from St. Louis Theater Circle for her performance.

Ms. Snow earned her MM in Vocal Performance from Indiana University, and her BM at the University of Oregon in 2013.

Sara E. Widzer

Stage Director Sara E. Widzer continues to produce exceptional operatic and theatre works at companies across the United States and abroad. Currently serving on faculty at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Los Angeles, her guest engagements for the 2020-21 season include as director for Opera Santa Barbara’s Concert in the Car production of La Tragedié de Carmen and a directorial debut at Opera Orlando with a new production of Carmen. Ms. Widzer’s 2019-20 season included as director for the world premiere of the new opera, JUANA, based on the novel Sor Juana’s Second Dream by Alicia Gaspar de Alba with music by Carla Lucero, for Opera UCLA. Also, the US premiere of La Morte d’Orfeo in her directorial debut at Los Angeles Opera. Among her engagements cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic were Assistant Director to Sir David McVicar at Los Angeles Opera for the mainstage production of Pelléas et Mélisande and as director at Music Academy of the West for a new production of Philip Glass’ Les Enfants Terribles. 

As Director: Chautauqua Opera Scenes Program; Carmen for Rochester Philharmonic; Woman of Salt for The Wildish Theatre; After Life and Letters from Quebec to Providence in the Rain for UCSB Opera and the National Opera Association and UC Santa Barbara Opera Theatre; Susannah for Pasadena Opera; The Flying Dutchman for the Hawaii Opera Theatre and Virginia Opera; The Music Man for the Royal Opera House of Oman; Le jongleur de Notre-Dame and L'elisir d'amore for Florida State Opera; Don Giovanni, Tosca, Pagliacci, and Hansel and Gretel for Opera in the Ozarks; Faust and Giulio Cesare for Celestial Opera Company; Reasons to be Pretty, Bury the Dead, Zoo Story, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, As You Like It, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Lee Strasberg Creative Center.

As Associate and Assistant Director: The Ghosts of Versailles and ¡Figaro! 90210 for Chautauqua Opera; El Gato Montes: The Wildcat for Los Angeles Opera; Madame White Snake for Beth Morrison Projects at the Hong Kong Arts Festival; Der Ring des Polykrates at the Dallas Opera, Silent Night, AIDA and The Daughter of the Regiment for Washington National Opera; The Marriage of Figaro for Music Academy of the West; The Flying Dutchman, King for a Day, and The Music Man for The Glimmerglass Festival. Ms. Widzer has worked with esteemed directors Francesca Zambello, Peter Kazaras, Tomer Zvulun, Eric Einhorn, James Darrah, Michael Counts, Robert Longbottom, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ray Roderick, Robert Eagan, and Mark Rydell.

As an educator, Ms. Widzer is currently on faculty as acting coach and stage director at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles, CA where she has been on staff for over fifteen years. She worked with famed film and tv audition coach Crystal Carson, co-teaching Audition by Heart courses and brought Carson’s technique to film and stage actors across the country. Through her work at City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, she taught Shakespeare classes at inner city middle schools and high schools throughout Southern California, a project which culminated in a bilingual production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream that she adapted with the Spanish title Un Sueño en Medio-Verano. On the opera stage, she has worked with members of the Glimmerglass Festival Young Artist Program, the Los Angeles Opera Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, the WNO Cafritz Young Artist Program and has also served as guest coach at El Camino College, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State University Long Beach, and Florida State University. Ms. Widzer continues to guest teach acting at studios throughout the Los Angeles area, and also maintains a roster of speaking and singing actors for whom she coaches acting and performance technique.

She received her MM in Opera Directing from Florida State University, her BA in theatre from Connecticut College and has an Artist’s Diploma in Classical Acting/Shakespeare from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in Shakespeare. Ms. Widzer makes her home in Los Angeles.

Read more at www.saraewidzer.com

Joshua Wheeker

Joshua Wheeker, a recent graduate of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist program of LA Opera, is securing his place as an exciting lyric tenor in the opera world. The “warmth and clarity” of his voice lends itself to many of opera’s leading men, while his musical sensitivity is equally at home in recital and concert.

He was most recently seen as Tamino in LA Opera’s Kosky production of Die Zauberflöte. Prior to that, he made his debut as Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto at Opera Theater of Saint Louis. On his OTSL performances, Broadway World wrote that “his voice is so beautiful that one understands how a girl would be smitten with him.”

During his time in the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera, his performances spanned from varying operatic roles, including Malcolm in Macbeth, Cacambo in Candide, and covering Tito in La Clemenza di Tito, to performing concert series and new works with artist-in-resident composer/conductor, Matthew Aucoin.

His concert work includes engagements with LA Philharmonic, Dayton Philharmonic, LA Symphony, Dayton Bach Society, Colburn School of Music, Dream Orchestra, Palm Springs Opera in the Park, Opera Buffs, and Salastina Chamber Ensemble.

Joshua has received awards in several prestigious competitions. He is the recipient of the following honors:  Contract winner in the Giovanni Consiglio International Competition (2020), 2nd place in Mentoris competition (2020), Winner of the Western Region MONC competition (2019), 1st place in the Pasadena Opera Guild Competition (2017), and in March of 2019 Joshua competed as a Semi-finalist in the MONC competition in New York on the Met stage.

This season Joshua will be appearing as The Duke of Mantua with Tulsa Opera in the fall, and Don Ottavio with Dayton Opera next winter. He was engaged to sing Narraboth from Salome with Hawaii Opera Theatre, but it was unfortunately canceled due to the Covid19 crisis. Joshua has also appeared with Aspen Music Festival, Kentucky Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera.

Josh is from Dayton, Ohio and received his Bachelors of Music from University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.

Eric Capelle

Eric currently works as Youth Engagement Coordinator at Congregation B'nai B'rith in Goleta, CA.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University and a year-long stint as the Youth and Music Fellow at Temple Israel in Capetown, South Africa, he’s returning to CBB for this leadership role.   Eric is very eager to use his love and passion for Judaism and this place he calls home, to guide, support and help our current teens and preteens as they discover the wonders of Judaism for themselves.

Frank Paolino

A native of Boston, Frank has a BFA in Architecture and began his career working in residential and commercial design. His passion for architecture and design led him Santa Barbara, where he built a reputation as an agent with an artist’s eye. Frank has an uncanny ability to see the creative potential of every listing. Currently an Account Manager for Yardi Systems, Frank consults property management companies in the Senior Housing industry. In his free time you can find him mountain biking, at the beach with his dog, or painting at his home studio.

Christina Omdahl

Tanner Cassidy

Tanner Cassidy is currently working on his Master’s and PhD in Music Theory at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Tanner completed his Bachelor’s in Music at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. While at North Central, he completed an honors thesis that applied a Neo-Riemannian perspective to the improvisations of Art Tatum, and also presented twice at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

Tanner’s research interests include the study of harmony within jazz and Romantic music, particularly through the lens of Neo-Riemannian theory. Past projects have investigated the music of Duke Ellington and Richard Wagner. In addition, he is also interested in film and video game music, with past and current projects looking at topic theory in Japanese kaiju eiga as well as looking at the orchestrational decisions that arise from technical constraints of early video game composition.

As a performer, Tanner is a saxophonist and conductor, occupying his time on campus performing with jazz groups and conducting the UCSB Pops Orchestra. A composer as well, Tanner’s compositions have recently been performed by students at the University of Memphis and by the Chicago-based ensemble Picosa.

Nicholas Burlett

Nicholas Burlett earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and moved to Santa Barbara to work for Green Hills Software soon after graduation in 2004. Green Hills is the worldwide leader in embedded safety and security. As a Director of Engineering, he leads an international team of engineers focused on solving complex problems in safety- and security-critical systems, working with leading engineering firms on everything from automobiles to medical equipment.

In addition to his engineering pursuits, Nicholas loves animals and has been a long time volunteer at Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS), Santa Barbara’s rabbit and guinea pig rescue. In 2013, he rebuilt the BUNS website from the ground up and added the ability for BUNS to accept donations online. He serves on the BUNS Board where he continues to help bring BUNS into the high tech era through improved volunteer and donor communications and online fundraising.

Dylan Minor

Dr. Dylan Minor earned his bachelor's degree in Mathematics/Economics at UC Santa Barbara and a PhD and Masters of Science in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business, University of Berkeley.

He has taught MBA students at Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management. His research has been featured in a variety of media, including: ABC, Academic Minute, CBS, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, Harvard Gazette, Human Resource Executive, INC.com, NPR (All Things Considered), Quartz, USA Today, Wired, WSJ, and the Washington Post.

In 2009, he founded Omega Financial Group, a wealth management firm, in Santa Barbara that he still manages today. In 2017, he also founded Argos Global Advisors, a hedge fund based in Santa Barbara. Finally, he engages in expert consulting for companies, including both large companies and startups, in the areas of finance, strategy, data analytics, social responsibility, and strategic human resource management.

After serving as Chairman of the Anacapa Board for the 2017-2018 academic year, Dylan moved into the role as Anacapa’s Head of School in July, 2018. Under his leadership, Anacapa will focus more heavily on entrepreneurship, differentiation, and responsive curriculum.

 

Timothy Mix

Finnish-American baritone Timothy Mix begins the 2019-20 season with his return to San Francisco Opera in the role of Count Capulet Romeo et Juliette, and travels to Annapolis Opera to sing the role of Scarpia Tosca. He returns to Urban Arias for performances of Glory Denied in the role of Older Thompson in Washington DC, where last season he performed the world premiere of Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi’s The Last American Hammer. Following his success in this role, the artist travels to Pittsburgh Opera for further performances as Milcom Negley. At Opera Idaho, he revives his portrayal of the title role of Joseph de Rocher in Dead Man Walking.

Last season’s highlights included an American premiere of Alexander Zhurbin’s song cycle TSVETAEVA with the Russian Chamber Art Society and he joined Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to sing Caliban The Tempest in Swedish under the baton of Suzanna Malkki. Tim travelled to Bergen National Opera to appear as Albert Werther and finished the season as Joseph De Rocher Dead Man Walking at Opera Delaware with great success.

Appearing at the prestigious summer festival Santa Fe Opera, Tim’s debut in 2016 as Count Capulet Romeo et Juliette under the direction of Stephen Lawless was the first of several engagements there; he returned the following season to jump into the role of Tsar Dodon in Paul Cullen’s Le Coq d’Or, and most recently sang the role of Jack Hubbard in a new production of Dr Atomic. His San Francisco Opera appearances include Le Bret Cyrano de Bergerac in 2010, Elder Ott/Blitch (c) Susannah in 2014 and de Brétigny Manon in 2017. At Opera Colorado he sang Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor, Belcore L’elisir d’Amore (also at Virginia Opera,) and Escamillo Carmen. Well-known by Opera Theatre of St Louis audiences, Tim made his role and house debut as Marcello La Boheme (also at Arizona Opera and Palm Beach Opera), and later Belcore in James Robinson’s production of The Elixir of Love.

Tim frequently appears in concert in Russian repertoire with the Russian Chamber Art Society of Washington DC, and with them recently added the title role Eugene Onegin to his repertoire. Other local engagements include the title role Rigoletto and Pere Germont La Traviata in concert with the Baltimore Concert Opera, Sharpless Madama Butterfly with Lyric Opera Baltimore and his engagements with Washington National Opera include Renato Un Ballo in Maschera as well as Ford Falstaff, a role he also sang at New York City Opera. Returning to NYCO, a highlight of his career was winning the company’s Christopher Keene award for Excellence as Edward Gaines Margaret Garner.

Other US successes include his appearance at Opera Delaware in the role of Claudius Amleto by Franco Faccio, and a role debut of Amonasro Aida with Opera Southwest. He joined the Bard Music Festival as the baritone soloist and narrator for Ginastera’s Estancia, conducted by Leon Botstein. Tim sang the title role Don Giovanni at Opera Grand Rapids, and at Opera Southwest. Tim’s international engagements include Escamillo at Finnish National Opera.

Tim has a broad repertoire of Finnish song which he presents in recital, and his concert appearances include Verdi’s Requiem with The Florida Orchestra, Carmina Burana with Oregon Symphony, and with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic he sang the role of Ping Turandot in concert.

Isaac Frishman

Tenor Isaac Frishman was recently praised for his “quick-witted stage antics” and a voice described as “truly sweet and graceful” (Broadway World) and during his recent performances as Prince Ramiro in Winter Opera St Louis' La cenerentola was praised as “a true Rossini tenor with fine coloratura and great high notes” (St. Louis Post). Mr. Frishman will join Chicago Opera Theater in their workshop of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride and during the summer of 2019, Mr. Frishman will make his New York City debut with Teatro Nuovo, singing the role of Osburgo in Bellini’s La straniera and the tenor solo in Rossini’s Stabat Mater and covering the role of Giannetto in Rossini’s La gazza ladra. In the fall of 2019, Mr. Frishman will debut the role of Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Painted Sky Opera, and in 2020, Mr. Frishman will make four company debuts: Tonio in La fille du régiment with Winter Opera Saint Louis, Ernesto in Don Pasquale with Pacific Northwest Opera, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Beadle in Sweeney Todd with Utah Festival Opera. During the 2020-2021 season, Mr. Frishman will join Amarillo Opera as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Opera Santa Barbara for Laurie in Little Women and Tonio in La fille du regiment.

In the summer of 2018, Mr. Frishman made his Spoleto Festival debut as Ghino, in the U.S. premiere of Donizetti’s Pia de’Tolomei.  During the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Frishman joined the Sanford Studio Artist Program at Kentucky Opera where his assignments included singing the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Howard Boucher in Dead Man Walking, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos and covering Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia.

In previous seasons, Mr. Frishman has joined the prestigious young artist programs such as Merola Opera, Opera Iowa, Chautauqua Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera. His recent roles performed or covered include Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Pong in Turandot, and Henrik in A Little Night Music.

Equally adept on the concert stage, Mr. Frishman recently has sang as the tenor soloist in performances of Orff's Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Cantata BWV 131, and the Monteverdi Vespers.?

 Mr. Frishman holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a master’s degree in vocal performance from Michigan State University. Mr. Frishman is a current semi-finalist in the Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition and was a Semi-Finalist in the 2017 Premier International Opera Competition, the winner of the Grace Keagy Award for Outstanding Vocal promise from the Lotte Lenya Foundation and the third prize winner of the 2019 Harold Haugh Competition. Mr. Frishman is a student of Metropolitan Opera tenor, Richard Fracker.

Emily Senturia

Praised for her ability to “draw a rich and beautiful sound,” Emily Senturia is quickly earning recognition as a talented opera conductor capable of leading a wide spectrum of repertoire. In 2018, Senturia made her mainstage debut with Houston Grand Opera conducting Il barbiere di Siviglia, followed by her Kennedy Center debut leading the same piece for Washington National Opera, and her West Coast debut leading Mata Hari for West Edge Opera. In the same year she was selected by The Dallas Opera to participate in the Hart Institute for Women Conductors for the 18-19 season, and in the spring of 2019, made her Hawaii Opera Theater debut leading La traviata and led a workshop of a world premiere for San Francisco Opera, and made her Wolf Trap Opera mainstage debut conducting Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. This season, Senturia returns to Opera Philadelphia as music director for the world premiere of Denis & Katya, makes her Boston Lyric Opera debut conducting Fellow Travelers, makes her Florida Grand Opera debut conducting Il matrimonio segreto, conducts the Mill City Summer Opera’s production of Rigoletto, and joins On-Site Opera as music director for their production of Das Barbecu.

 

After graduating from the HGO Studio, Senturia joined the HGO music staff during which time she conducted performances of L’elisir d’amore, The Little Prince, and The Magic Flute. Recently, Senturia has been on the music staff at The Atlanta Opera (Sweeney Todd), Opera Philadelphia (O17 Festival and O18 Festival), and at Wolf Trap Opera where she has conducted two Studio Spotlight programs.

 

In 2017, Senturia conducted Iolanthe with Savoynet Performing Group at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival before joining the music staff at Opera Philadelphia for productions of Elizabeth Cree and War Stories as part of their inaugural festival, O17. She covered Alcina at Washington National Opera, led La liberazione di Ruggiero for the inaugural project of Opera X, a company devoted to promoting operas by female composers, and finished her season coaching Sweeney Todd for The Atlanta Opera.

 

Senturia’s training includes studies at the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Wolf Trap Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. She studied orchestral conducting at Indiana University and Boston University, and violin at Rice University.

 

 

Jana McIntyre

Jana McIntyre has been praised for her “dancer’s grace, mercurial wit, and vibrant soprano tone” (Opera News). This season will see Ms. McIntyre make her role debut as Ännchen in a new production of Der Freischütz with Heartbeat Opera, as well as join Santa Fe Opera for their workshop of the completed version of M. Butterfly in New York City. She will also debut with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera singing from Così fan tutte and Le nozze di Figaro as Despina and Susanna in their “All Mozart Concert.” During the 2018-2019 season, Ms. McIntyre reprised the role of The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with Toledo Opera as well as with Opera Grand Rapids. She also made company debuts with Arizona Opera (Le nozze di Figaro), Santa Fe Opera (Jen?fa), and with Tulsa Opera singing Zerlina in Don Giovanni as well as Water in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince for which women held both posts of director and conductor. Additionally, she covered La Fée in Laurent Pelly’s iconic production of Cendrillon at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

 

In the 2017-2018 season Ms. McIntyre performed with the San Francisco Symphony as Pamina and Die Königin der Nacht in selections from Die Zauberflöte at Stern Grove. She also presented the Wolf Italienisches Liederbuch and Strauss’ Brentano Lieder in concerts under the auspices of the San Francisco Opera Center. In New York City, she made her role debut as Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with City Lyric Opera and she finished the season as an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera covering Najade in Tim Albery’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos.

 

Career highlights include critical acclaim for her portrayal of Andromède in the American premiere of Ibert’s Persée et Andromède which made the New York Times “Best Classical Music of 2016;” her professional debut as the Amore in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice alongside Anthony Roth Costanzo and Kiera Duffy in an installment of “Orphic Moments” with Brooklyn’s National Sawdust Theater under the baton of Matthew Aucoin; as well as performing in the west coast premiere of Jonathan Scheffer’s Blood on the Dining Room Floor (Rose 1) at age 19.

 

Additional operatic roles include the “saucy and domineering” (San Francisco Classical Voice) Serpina, in La serva padrona with Merola Opera Program where she also covered Despina (Così fan tutte) and Clorinda (La cenerentola), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte), La Fée (Cendrillon), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Leïla (Les pêcheurs de perles) Drusilla (L’incoronazione di Poppea), and Señora Grazia in the world premiere workshop of Roger Bourland’s The Dove and the Nightingale. In the Clark Library of Los Angeles, Ms. McIntyre sang as a soprano soloist in James Darrah’s staging of Handel’s L’Allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato under the musical preparation and direction of Maestro Stephen Stubbs.

 

Equally at home in concert and recital repertoire as she is on the opera stage, Jana most recently sang the soprano solo in Mozart’s Requiem with Signature Symphony in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2016 she joined Maestro George Manahan to perform Joaquin Rodrigo’s Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios in concert with the Manhattan Chamber Sinfonia and also sang Mater Gloriosa in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Manhattan Oratorio Society at St. John the Divine Cathedral. She later performed and recorded the piece as a part of David Briggs’ organ transcription which was released by Albany Records in 2016.

 

Miss McIntyre won first prize in the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Competition which gave her the opportunity to travel to Buenos Aires to sing a series of concerts at various venues including El Salon Dorado at the Teatro Colón. She is an award winner from the Jensen Foundation, Giulio Gari Foundation, George London Foundation, Art Song Preservation Society, Metropolitan National Council, among others. She is a Richard F. Gold grant recipient from the Shoshana Foundation (Merola), and the winner of the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition at Manhattan School of Music.

 

Jana has been an apprentice with Tulsa Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Merola Opera Program. She did her undergraduate academic work at the University of California, Los Angeles in Psychology (B.A.) and Music (B.A.). She received her Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music.

 

Andrew Potter

Andrew Potter, bass has garnered increasing demand across the country for his larger than life stage presence and voice to match. Of his recent performance in L’elisir d’amore, Opera Today hailed, “With his huge, all-encompassing bass voice and precise comic timing he nearly stole the show.” This past summer, Potter performed the role of The Bonze in Madama Butterfly with St. Petersburg Opera, reprised the role of Hunding in Die Walküre with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, sang Vodnik in Rusalka with Steamboat Opera, and performed Escamillo in Carmen with Mid-Ohio Opera. Upcoming engagements include Prince Gremen in Eugene Onegin with Livermore Valley Opera, Poo-Bah in Mikado with Opera Grand Rapids, Sulpice in Daughter of the Regiment with Winter Opera St. Louis, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Indianapolis Opera, Ramfis in Aïda with Raylynmore Opera, and Pastor Avery in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline with Tulsa Opera.

 

Recent engagements have included Osmin in Die Entführung with Opera Orlando, Colline in La bohème with Anchorage Opera and Indianapolis Opera, his Tulsa Opera début as The King in The Little Prince, Sarastro in The Magic Flute and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Pacific Opera Project, Dr. Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with Winter Opera St. Louis, Fafner in Das Rheingold and Colline in La bohème with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, the role of Death in the world premiére of Rick Sowash’s Death and the Everyman and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Mid-Ohio Opera, and Simone in Gianni Schicchi, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte and Ferrando in Il trovatore with Southern Illinois Music Festival.

 

Additionally, Andrew has performed across the country proficiently demonstrating the vocal power and sonority to sing such roles as Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, the range and physicality to perform buffo roles like Don Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Alfonso in Cosi? fan tutte, Don Magnifico in Cenerentola; and the flexibility and agility to sing challenging Handelian roles including Zoroastro in Orlando, Ariodate in Serse, and Argante in Rinaldo.

 

With years of studying under renowned teachers such as Rick Christman, Braeden Harris, and Kenneth Shaw; Andrew became a standout in mainstage roles at several of the nation’s most prestigious Young Artist programs such as Des Moines Metro Opera, St. Petersburg Emerging Artist Program, and the Tyler Young Artist Program.

Kyle Lang

Kyle Lang’s directing credits include Carmen (San Diego Opera), L'elisir d'amore (Virginia Opera), Die Fledermaus   (Utah Opera), Lucia di Lammermoor (Virginia Opera), The Pirates of Penzance (Intermountain Opera Bozeman), Mame (Seagle Music Colony), As One (San Diego Opera), The Pirates of Penzance (Associate - San Diego Opera), The Bear (Wexford Festival Opera), La bohème (Virginia Opera),Die Zauberflöte  (Seagle Music Colony), Don Quixote and the Duchess (Central City Opera), L’enfant et les sortilège and Gianni Schicchi (Simpson College), Dead Man Walking (Opera Fayetteville), Apprentice Showcase (Santa Fe Opera), The Face on the Barroom Floor (Tulsa Opera), and Short Works (Central City Opera).

His choreographic credits include Ariadne auf Naxos (Santa Fe Opera), My Fair Lady (Teatro San Carlo), Die Fledermaus (Utah Opera), Vanessa (Wexford Festival Opera), Turandot (Virginia Opera),  The Merry Widow (Boston Lyric Opera), The Merry Widow (Utah Opera),  La Traviata (Fort Worth Opera),  Jen?fa  (Des Moines Metro Opera),  The Last Savage (Indiana University), Sweeney Todd (Virginia Opera), La Traviata (Des Moines Metro Opera), Ariadne auf Naxos (Virginia Opera),  Carmen (Opera Omaha), Falstaff (Virginia Opera), Le Nozze di Figaro (Virginia Opera), Die Fledermaus (Opera Memphis), and La Traviata (Lyric Opera Baltimore).

Kyle has assistant directed for Santa Fe Opera, San Diego Opera, Virginia Opera, Utah Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Omaha, Tulsa Opera, Opera Memphis, and Indiana University.

His performing credits as a professional dancer include ZviDance, The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington National Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, and with Christopher K. Morgan, performing in countries across Europe, South America, and the Middle East. He pursued music studies at the University of Southern Mississippi before earning a BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His home is currently in Washington, DC. 

Raúl Melo

Tenor Raúl Melo has enjoyed a career performing some of the most demanding roles of the Italian and French repertoire across four continents. His international career began when he was awarded the prize of “Best Lyric Tenor” in the 1992 Alfredo Kraus Competition, a prize personally bestowed upon Mr. Melo by the late great Spanish tenor. Beginning in the lyric repertoire, Mr. Melo’s repertoire has expanded to embrace the great heroic Verdi and Puccini roles: Carlo DON CARLO, Rodolfo LUISA MILLER, Alvaro LA FORZA DEL DESTINO; des Grieux MANON LESCAUT, Cavaradossi TOSCA, Dick Johnson LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, and Calàf TURANDOT.

For nine seasons Mr. Melo has been a regularly invited guest artist with the Metropolitan Opera. He made his MET debut in 2005 as Duca RIGOLETTO and was heard in a 2008 Sirius Metropolitan Opera Radio live broadcast as Pinkerton MADAMA BUTTERFLY. His other MET responsibilities have included covering the lead tenor roles in LA DAMNATION DE FAUST, HAMLET, ROMÉO ET JULIETTE, and LA RONDINE, as well as four Verdi titles: LA TRAVIATA, UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, RIGOLETTO, I VESPRI SICILIANI, and DON CARLO, the last of which he covered during the MET’s 2011 tour to Japan. Mr. Melo also joined members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for the 2011 New York premiere of Allen Shawn’s work Hide Not Thy Face.

Mr. Melo has also been a frequent guest with other New York opera companies. For New York City Opera, Mr. Melo has performed such leading roles as Cavaradossi TOSCA, Pinkerton MADAMA BUTTERFLY, and Araquil in Massenet’s rarely-performed yet thrilling LA NAVARRAISE. For Teatro Grattacielo, which presents rarely-heard verismo operas in concert form, Mr. Melo has performed Vassili in Giordano’s SIBERIA, the King in the New York premiere of Franco Alfano’s SAKÙNTALA, Giosta Berling in Zandonai’s I CAVALIERI DI EKEBÙ, Gennaro in Wolf-Ferrari’s I GIOIELLI DELLA MADONNA, and Osaka in Mascagni’s IRIS. In recent seasons, Mr. Melo has displayed impressive stylistic breadth with his role debuts as both Turiddu CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and Canio PAGLIACCI, performing both in the same evenings (Amarillo Opera). Other North American companies with which Mr. Melo has performed include Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Manitoba Opera, and Opéra de Québec.

Mahri Kerley

Mahri Kerley is the founder of the much-beloved Chaucer’s Bookstore and a long time community arts patron in Santa Barbara. A native of Canada, Kerley lived in the Bay Area before moving to New York and eventually settling in Santa Barbara. She opened Chaucer’s in 1974 and has been in its current location at Loreto Plaza on upper State Street since 1983. Even with the threat of major competitors, Chaucer’s has remained Santa Barbara’s most popular independent bookstore. Chaucer’s gives back to the community by hosting book fairs and author readings, two major store-wide sales, and keeps a long-standing discount for teachers. Kerley’s store has endured with a spirit of offering thoughtful and knowledgeable customer service that in turn has created a loyal following.

Kerley is also a generous supporter of UCSB Arts and Lectures, CAMA, Music Academy of the West, and Camerata Pacifica. Kerley was an SB Chamber Orchestra patron for more than 20 years and was appointed to their board in 2009. That same year she was recognized as part of Santa Barbara Independent's Local Heroes. In 2016, she was honored alongside other SB icons by the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation which recognizes business visions that uniquely capture and redefine the spirit of Santa Barbara.

 

Dylan Minor

Dr. Dylan Minor earned his bachelor's degree in Mathematics/Economics at UC Santa Barbara and a PhD and Masters of Science in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business, University of Berkeley.

He has taught MBA students at Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management. His research has been featured in a variety of media, including: ABC, Academic Minute, CBS, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, Harvard Gazette, Human Resource Executive, INC.com, NPR (All Things Considered), Quartz, USA Today, Wired, WSJ, and the Washington Post.

In 2009, he founded Omega Financial Group, a wealth management firm, in Santa Barbara that he still manages today. In 2017, he also founded Argos Global Advisors, a hedge fund based in Santa Barbara. Finally, he engages in expert consulting for companies, including both large companies and startups, in the areas of finance, strategy, data analytics, social responsibility, and strategic human resource management.

After serving as Chairman of the Anacapa Board for the 2017-2018 academic year, Dylan moved into the role as Anacapa’s Head of School in July, 2018. Under his leadership, Anacapa will focus more heavily on entrepreneurship, differentiation, and responsive curriculum.

 

Sarah Vautour

American soprano, Sarah Vautour, is in her second year as a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist, and returned to the LA Opera stage  in the 19/20 season as Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and covered Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème. In May, Ms. Vautour will sing the role of Barbarina in their new production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, led by Maestro James Conlon and director James Gray.

This summer Ms. Vautour joins the Aspen Theater and Vocal ARTS program as an inaugural member of the Renée Fleming Young Artist Program. In Aspen, Ms. Vautour will appear in numerous recitals as well as in the role of Erste Dame in their production of Die Zauberflöte, under the baton of Maestro Patrick Summers and the direction of Edward Berkeley.

Last summer, Ms. Vautour joined Teatro Nuovo for their summer season as a Resident Artist to cover the title role in Bellini’s La straniera. Additionally, she made her Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra debut as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Das klagende Lied with the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus and Maestro James Conlon.

Ms. Vautour made her LA opera debut as the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel under the baton of Maestro James Conlon. Ms. Vautour’s other assignments during the 18/19 season included covering both the Celestial Voice in Verdi's Don Carlos and Gretel in Hänsel and Gretel, and appearing as Zipporah/ Voice of God in the world premiere of Henry Mollicone’s Moses. She came to LA Opera following a summer as an Apprentice Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera, where she covered Adele in Johann Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus.

Ms. Vautour earned her Master of Music from Rice University and a Bachelor of Music from University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Her notable engagements include the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Morgana in Handel’s Alcina with CCM Opera d’arte, as well as Rose Maurrant in Street Scene with Harrower Summer Opera Workshop. Ms. Vautour made her Aspen Music Festival debut in the role of Mozart and Donna Anna in Stephen Stucky’s The Classical Style, under the baton of Maestro Robert Spano.

In the 2017/2018 season, Ms. Vautour appeared under the baton of Maestro Thomas Jaber as the soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria, and again, later, with the Houston Masterworks Chorus as the soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Suzanna Guzman

Suzanna Guzmán, mezzo soprano, is a native of East Los Angeles. An original Associate Artists of Los Angeles Opera, she has performed with them as a principal artist in over 40 main stage productions including Isaura (Tancredi) Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) Mrs Sedley (Peter Grimes) Mrs. Fox (Fantastic Mr. Fox-world premiere) Marcellina (Marriage of Figaro) La Gitana (El Gato Montes) Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) Empress Maria (Nicolas and Alexandra- world premiere) and working with opera legends Plácido Domingo, Mtislav Rostropovich, Galina Vishneskaya, Marilyn Horne, Alfredo Krouse, Patricia Racette, Renee Fleming, James Conlon, just to name a few.

She made her operatic debut in 1984-85 season with San Diego Opera as Emiia in Verdi's Otello and has worked with many opera companies around the world including Houston Grand Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Ludiwigshafen Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera de Geneve, Dresden Opera, Opera Montepelier, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera, Edinburgh Festival, and Opera de Nice.

Guzmán reached international attention for her portrayal of the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. Hailed by TIME magazine as “A fire-eating singing actress, devastatingly sexy!”, the role became her signature role sung to acclaim in over 200 performances around the globe. A champion of original works, she has created and appeared in lead roles in new operas notably by Jake Heggie, Daniel Catan, Giancarlo Menotti, Ian Krouse, Tobias Picker, Deborah Dratell. Her many awards and honors for music include a Grammy nod for the 2006 Best Classical recording of Carlos Chávez: Volume III with Southwest Chamber and Mexico's Tambuco Percussion Ensemble, a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitor at the Kennedy Center directed by composer Giancarlo Menotti, first place winner of San Francisco competition, Guild Opera and National finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National competition.

An advocate of Arts Education she continues to perform her one-woman show, Don’t Be Afraid; It’s Just Opera! across the United States reaching over 200,000 inner-city students to date, and is widely recognized for her mentorship to California students.

Nina Dunbar

Nina Dunbar has served as a nonprofit executive, fundraiser, and arts advocate for municipal and nonprofit organizations in California, Arizona, and Louisiana for more than 25 years.  Before joining Opera Santa Barbara, she ran Change|Practice|Play, a Santa Barbara-based consultancy focusing on strategic planning, development, and grants writing. Nina previously served as Director of Development & Communications for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and was the Executive Director of The Arts Fund of Santa Barbara. She currently serves on the board of Santa Barbara Beautiful and is a former member of City of Santa Barbara’s Arts Advisory Committee.

Before moving to Santa Barbara, Nina oversaw the planning and commissioning of award-winning public art and infrastructure projects for the Phoenix Office of Cultural Affairs and San Francisco Arts Commission. As a founding partner of AMPS/Arts Management for Public Spaces (1995-1999), she consulted on public art planning, policy, and project management for government and private sector clients in the U.S. and Vancouver, BC.  Nina received her MA in Arts Management from the University of New Orleans and holds BFA in Painting and Art Education from Temple University.

Arnold Rawls

Tenor Arnold Rawls has delighted audiences with his unique combination of vocal and dramatic skills in performances ranging from art song to opera.  He has been hailed for having a “powerful, clarion-sounding tenor,” a “firm, pliant lyric tenor with ringing high notes,” as well as a “flair for acting.”  His Radamès thrilled audiences as he “rose to the occasion, singing the famous "Celeste Aida" with a creamy tone and a beautiful sense of Italian lyricism. It included a dazzling high B-flat that seemed to ring for an eternity.”  (Omaha World Herald)

Recent highlights include the role of Radames in Aida with Opera Australia in Sydney and Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Belgium, Hagenbach in La Wally with Dallas Opera, Manrico in Seattle Opera's Il trovatore, and Calaf in Turandot for Teatro Colón, Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria and the Zeffirelli production at Metropolitan Opera.

Engagements during the last few seasons include Hagenbach in Le Wally and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos both at the Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland, San-Lui in Leoni’s L’Oracolo, Roberto in Le Ville and Apollo in Daphne all with Oper Frankfurt, and Manrico in Il Trovatore both for his debut at the Sydney Opera House and with The Metropolitan Opera.  With the Arizona Opera and Vancouver Opera he portrayed Radamès in Aida, with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Pensacola Opera and Arizona Opera he sang Calaf in Turandot, with Opera Grand Rapids he sang Manrico in Il Trovatore, and he returned to the Bregenzer Festpiele as the title role in Andrea Chenier where The New York Times reported “Chénier, long a cherished role of Italian dramatic tenors, finds a creditable exponent in the American tenor Arnold Rawls, whose voice has an easy flow in midrange yet rang out excitingly in the big, high-lying moments.”

John Allen Nelson

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, baritone John Allen Nelson is an audience favorite with a “deliciously hearty sound” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). He recently made his New York City Opera debut as Giordano in the world premiere of Stonewall, commissioned as a  2019 Pride Initiative production.  He also debuted with Boston Lyric Opera in a workshop of a new Hamlet and returned to his home state of Minnesota this summer for Opera on the Lake’s Die Fledermaus as Dr. Falke. He will make his OSB debut as Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet. Mr. Nelson completed his residency at Boston University Opera Institute in spring 2016. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from St. John’s University.

www.johnallennelson.net

2019-20 Chrisman Studio Artist

Kelly Guerra

Peruvian-American mezzo-soprano Kelly Guerra was most recently noted as a "standout" in the Wall Street Journal for her performance at the Tanglewood Music Center as Mrs. Doc in Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place. She has been featured at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Bard Music Festival. Ms. Guerra has performed with a variety of ensembles including the Albany Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, The Orchestra Now, Contemporaneous, Opera Parallèle and BluePrint. She is in candidacy for her DMA in Vocal Performance at the University of California Santa Barbara.

kellyguerramezzo.com

2019-20 Chrisman Studio Artist

Chandler Johnson

American tenor, Chandler Johnson is excited to join the 2019-2020 Chrisman Studio program. This season Chandler will be covering roles  in all three productions and singing Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette. This past season, Chandler covered Governor/Vanderdendur/Ragotski in Candide and was featured in a fully staged scenes program as a Studio Artist with Chautauqua Opera. Chandler also sang Goro in Madama Butterfly with Opera Columbus, Geppetto in Pinocchio with St. Petersburg Opera, and covered the title role of Candide with The Knights NYC. Chandler is a recent graduate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory (CCM).

2019-20 Chrisman Studio Artist

Julia Metzler

Los Angeles-based soprano Julia Metzler is an active up-and-coming opera singer and concert soloist. Recent roles include Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro with Pacific Opera Project and Blanche de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites with San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As a roster member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Ms. Metzler can frequently be heard performing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. She has performed as a soloist with both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and with the Chorale, most recently in Bach’s Magnificat and Handel’s Messiah. A frequent opera competitor, Ms. Metzler was a 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Awards National Semi-Finalist, after winning First Place in the Western Region finals in January of 2018.Ms. Metzler holds degrees in vocal performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music and from UCLA.

juliaheronmetzler.com

2019-20 Chrisman Studio Artist

Scott Piper

Spinto tenor Scott Piper’s rich, resonant voice and charismatic stage presence quickly established him as a sought after interpreter of opera's romantic leading men, in roles such as  Cavaradossi in Tosca, Don José in Bizet's Carmen, Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana. Of his performance with Utah Opera, the Salt Lake Tribune wrote “His voice was rich and natural, with baritone heft in the lower range; his heart-tugging third-act aria, "E lucevan le stelle," was one of the evening's highlights.” Recently transitioning into spinto repertoire, Mr. Piper has sung Calaf in Turandot for Pensacola Opera and Minnesota Opera, Manrico in Il trovatore with Utah Opera, Pollione in Norma in Wiesbaden, and Luigi in Il tabarro and the title role of Otello with Opera Köln, Wiesbaden, Klagenfurt, and Dayton Opera, Verdi’s Requiem with Angers-Nantes in France, Canio in Pagliacci with Utah Opera, and Canio/Turridu in Pagliacci/Cavalleria rusticana with Madison Opera. Upcoming engagements include Pablo Neruda in Il postino with Virginia Opera and Opera Santa Barbara.

Recently, Mr. Piper made his role debut as Turiddu with the New Israeli Opera, added Canio for a Cavalleria – Pagliacci double bill with Opera Tampa, and debuted Manrico in Verdi’s Il trovatore with Opera Roanoke, and Anatol in Barber’s Vanessa with Sarasota Opera. Additionally, he returned to his signature roles: Rodolfo in La bohème with Angers-Nantes Opera in France, Don Jose in Carmen with Kentucky Opera and Nashville Opera, and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Seattle Opera.

Josepha DiRado

Josepha DiRado was born in Antwerp, Belgium and educated in Canada as an art major. She has been a volunteer for Opera SB in the past, helping to set up its offices and heading a major fundraiser at the Montecito Country Club. Her late husband, George DiRado previously served on OSB’s Board of Directors. She currently serves on the boards for Pepper Hills Homeowners’ Association and the Cancer Core Recovery Project.

Patricia Dixon

Patricia (Tricia) Dixon is a long-time volunteer in the Santa Barbara non-profit community, even before retiring from an extensive career in banking and finance. She served on the board of the Santa Barbara Symphony League for 10 years specializing in event planning and continues to volunteer as a Symphony Music Van docent. Tricia spent 10 years on the board of the Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital Auxiliary and continues to volunteer in their thrift shop.  She was a board officer for the Santa Barbara Navy League Board, the National Charity League of Santa Ynez, and on the Girl Scout Council of Santa Barbara. She has volunteered with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, the “Big Sister” program in Santa Barbara, and helped with fundraising for major events for the Santa Ynez Equestrian Center. She is an active supporter of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Granada Theater, Camerata Pacifica and Opera Santa Barbara. Tricia majored in Math & French at UCSB; earned a private pilot’s license; and played competitive inter-club tennis for 35 years. She is a member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club where she enjoys boating and kayaking.

Aubrey Trujillo-Scarr

At home both on stage and camera, Aubrey is a multi-passionate performing artist.  A Los Angeles local, she performs regularly with Los Angeles Opera’s Outreach and Communication Department, Opera Santa Barbara, Pacific Opera Project, and Pasadena Opera. Completely in love with theater, Aubrey has performed lead roles with The Jewel Theater Company, the Group Repertory Theater, The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival and her home away from home, The Garry Marshall Theatre. Performing in the inaugural season of the Garry Marshall Theater was a dream come true as she shared the stage with Emmy award winning actress, Carolyn Hennesy and an outstanding cast of talent in Terrance McNally’s MASTER CLASS.

Aubrey is invited to solo with The Santa Clarita Master Chorale regularly and has performed the soprano solos in Ralph Vaughn William’s Hodie, Dvorak’s Te Deum and Durufle’s Requiem. As a member of the Los Angeles Chorus, she was thrilled to take part in the first ever “Score! A Concert Celebrating MusicComposed for Television” singing under the baton of composers Bear McCreary, Ramin Djawadi, Trevor Morris and Mark Snow.

William Vallandigham

William Nathan Vallandigham, baritone, is a native of Sutton, New Hampshire. William’s most recent performance credit includes the roles of Maximillian and Cacambo in Angels Vocal Art’s production of Candide. The role of Francis Nurse in The Crucible will mark William’s 5th production singing with Opera Santa Barbara. Previous productions with OSB include chorister positions in Eugene Onegin, La bohème, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Manon. William also appeared as the baritone soloist with the Distant Worlds Orchestra, performing the music of Nobuo Uematsu in Microsoft Theater. Other career highlights include performing in the North American staged premiere of Phillip Glass’s Kepler (Spoleto Festival USA). William earned his Bachelor of Music from Baldwin Wallace University and his Master of Music in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he maintains a private voice studio.

Danielle Corella

Danielle Corella is a 7th generation Arizona native known for her colorful and expressive voice. She began her studies at Westminster Choir College, which gave her the opportunity to perform in Spoleto Festival USA. Corella earned her Master of Music at the University of Southern California. There, she sang multiple roles in the premiere of Frau Schindler in concert by Thomas Morse. She also performed the quirky role of Bettina from Lee Hoiby’s Something New for the Zoo. Corella works with Long Beach Opera as an education artist and performed in The Love Potion by Frank Martin. This is her 3rd production with Opera Santa Barbara. She also performed in the chorus for Manon and La Bohème. Corella is excited to perform her first Russian role and celebrate Opera Santa Barbara's 25th anniversary.

Tim Accurso

Timothy Accurso joined the Opera Santa Barbara team in September 2018. Tim has been on music staff with Palm Beach Opera, Opera Saratoga, and the Seagle Music Colony. Originally from Glen Lyon, Pennsylvania, he completed his undergraduate studies at Susquehanna University in vocal and piano performance. To further his studies in opera, Tim received a Masters of Music in vocal coaching and accompanying from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Dr. Julie Jordan Gunn. Following his studies, Tim became a resident artist with Utah Opera as well as a young artist with Opera Saratoga, where he now spends his summers on staff. Tim spends his time coaching the Chrisman Studio artists, engaging in the education initiatives of Opera Santa Barbara, playing mainstage rehearsals, and performing throughout the community in recitals and events with the company.

Kevin Langan

Kevin Langan earned a sterling reputation as a leading performer in opera and concert with international audiences. Mr. Langan was the last protégé of Walter Legge, the legendary operatic record producer and promoter, and husband to Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. Under their sponsorship, he began his extensive career with a critically acclaimed recital at The Wigmore Hall in London. His “deep, toffee-smooth voice and convincing interpretive abilities” (New York Times) have made him a favorite in opera companies throughout the world. His career currently spans 40 years and over 1400 performances covering a vast repertoire of over 80 roles from early Baroque through 21st Century works, with the majority of his work in Händel, Mozart, and Verdi operas. This season, Mr. Langan returns to Central City Opera as Sarastro in The Magic Flute, performs Osmin in Abduction from the Seraglio with Livermore Valley Opera, reprises his role as Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Tampa, and performs the role of Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea with Boston Baroque. He is also on the voice faculty of Westminster Choir College’s Florence Voice Program in Italy every spring.

Sarah Jane Lind**

Jonathon McGee

Jonathon McGee comes to Opera Santa Barbara ahead of the 21|22 Season having spent the better part of the last decade serving in the nonprofit field with an emphasis in marketing. During his time at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute and the Museum of Ventura County, Jonathon shifted focus to fostering new relationships with surrounding communities through digital media and community engagement.

He has worked with such organizations as the American Alliance of Museums, National Geographic, Woods Hole Oceanographic Society, and others to craft their stories and more effectively engage with audiences both online and in-person through contemporary programming, increased presence in local media/press outlets and impactful digital media.

Jonathon graduated in the top percentile of his class with a Bachelors Degree in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production and special honors.

Barbara Burger

Barbara Burger has enjoyed a long career in public relations and marketing primarily in the performing arts, serving the Santa Barbara Symphony as both Marketing Director and Education Coordinator for many years, and as a marketing consultant for State Street Ballet among other arts organizations. She founded and chaired a citywide alliance of performing arts professionals and is currently president of the Music and Arts Conservatory. Barbara has served on the City Arts Advisory Committee, the County Arts Commission and is a past-vice president the Downtown Organization, for whom she developed the first Downtown Organization Map for tourists now in its 6th edition with a printing of 100,000. She has a BA from Eastern University in Anthropology/Sociology and Masters in Public Service Management from University of Redlands, CA.

Daniel Scofield

 

Pistola / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2014

Juan José de León

 

Doctor Caius / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Courtney McKeown

 

Meg Page / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2014

Melania Taylor Burgess

 

Costume Designer / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

David Gordon

 

Scenic Designer / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

Pam Gray

 

Lighting Designer / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Martin Pakledinaz

 

Costume Designer / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Eric Watkins

 

Lighting Designer /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Kristi Johnson

 

Costume Designer /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Trevor Burk

 

Lighting Designer / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Holly Jenkins-Evans

 

Costume Designer / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Eric Allgeier

 

Scenic Designer / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Constantinos Kritikos

 

Scenic Designer /
L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Pablo Santiago

 

Lighting Designer /
Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Lighting Designer /
L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Marcus Dilliard

 

Lighting Designer / Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Roger Kirk

 

Costume Designer / Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Ken MacDonald

 

Scenic Designer / Carmen

March 2018 (debut)

Dana Osborne

 

Costume Designer / Carmen

March 2018 (debut)

Helena Kuukka

 

Lighting Designer / Carmen

March 2018 (debut)

John Lehmeyer

 

Costume Designer / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Giulio Perrone

 

Scenic Designer / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Wendy Castellanos-Wolf

 

Choreographer /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Choreographer / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Constance Hoffmann

 

Costume Designer /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

François-Pierre Couture

Originally from Montréal, Canada, François-Pierre Couture has been working in the United States since 2006 and he is please to be making Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park debut. His multifaceted and dynamic approach to his craft has given him the opportunity to work across multiple environments and venues. He is also proud to be full time professor at East Los Angeles College, one of the most dynamic and upcoming theatre department in Los Angeles.

François-Pierre Couture has had the privilege of working in Los Angeles and the United States for the last decade as a scenic, lighting and projection designer. He has received multiple Ovation, LADCC, LA Weekly awards & nominations. Designs include: “Invisible Tango”, “A Picasso”, Geffen Playhouse; “Everything that Never Happened”, “With Love and Major Organ”, Boston Court Theatre; “Frankenstein”, A Noise Within;  “Destiny of Desire”, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage Theatre, South Coast Repertory & Goodman Theatre; “Jackie Unveiled”, Wallis Theatre; “The Mexican Trilogy, an American History”, Los Angeles Theatre Center; “Metamorphoses” , “Everything is Illuminated”, Ensemble Theatre Company; Médée and Teseo, Chicago Opera Theatre; Carmen and Cold Mountain, Music Academy of the West.

www.fpcouture.com

Instagram @fpcouturedesign

Scenic & Lighting Design /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Scenic & Lighting Design /
L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015

 

Lighting Design / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

A.T. Jones

Jeff Bruckerhoff

 

Lighting Designer / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Keith Brumley

 

Scenic Designer / Manon

November 2017

 

Scenic Designer / La rondine

April 2017

 

Scenic Designer /
Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Adrien Roberts

 

Suzy / La rondine

April 2017

 

Rooster / The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Sally Rose Bates

 

The Monitor / Suor Angelica

April 2016 (debut)

Linda Di Fiore

 

The Abbess / Suor Angelica

April 2016 (debut)

Lee Steiner

 

Gherardo / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Jose Maria Condemi

 

Director / Falstaff

March 2014

 

Director / Tosca

November 2013

 

Director / Don Pasquale

April 2013

 

Director / Orfeo ed Euridice

April 2012

 

Director / La traviata

March 2011 (debut)

 

Artistic Director

2010 – 2015

Jennifer Lindsay

Soprano Jennifer Lindsay has been lauded for her “clever comic ability” and “vocal athleticism” (Naples Daily News). Jennifer joins the Chrisman Studio Artist Program for Opera Santa Barbara 2018/19 season, covering Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and both Mimì and Musetta in La bohème, and singing Mary Warren in The Crucible. Prior to joining Opera Santa Barbara, she will make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Connecticut. Jennifer recently made her role debut as Leonora in Il Trovatore with Pacific Lyric Association alongside Metropolitan Opera tenor Luis Lima. Jennifer is an alumna of the apprentice programs at Opera Southwest, Opera Naples, and the Caramoor Music Festival. Other career highlights include Violetta in La Traviata with Pacific Lyric Association and Lucha in the world premiere of HOPSCOTCH (The Industry). She has also appeared with the LA Philharmonic in conjunction with Beth Morrison Projects singing excerpts from John Adams’ I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky, conducted by the composer. Jennifer is also an accomplished orchestral violinist. Last season, she unexpectedly became a viral sensation on social media when she stepped out of the 2nd violin section at the last minute to replace the ailing lead soprano during a dress rehearsal of Aida with the Marina Del Rey Symphony. Jennifer holds degrees from Harvey Mudd College (BS/Mathematics), Columbia University (MS/Operations Research), and Johns Hopkins University (MS/Computer Science) and worked as a software developer for the U.S. Department of Defense before pursuing a career in music. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist

Susan Aberle

Luvi Avendano

 

Zuniga / Carmen

November 2016

 

Betto di Signa / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Michael Kollmorgen

Michael Kollmorgen, tenor, is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He joins Opera Santa Barbara's Chrisman Studio Artist Program for the 2018-19 Season. Michael has been performing since he was seven years old as a member of the The Tulsa Boy Singers. He attended Oklahoma State University, where his roles included Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Basilio and Don Curzio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Matt/Larry in Face on the Barroom Floor. Michael was also cast as the Duke in Rigoletto and Rodolfo in La Bohème in OSU Opera's production of Love, Lust, & Death: Four Tragic Acts of Love. Michael has also performed in the  Chorus. and he was recently featured as a tenor soloist in Handel's Messiah. Michael attended the University of Houston for his graduate studies, where he performed Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Levin in Anna Karenina, Judge Danforth in The Crucible, Tancredi in The Inspector, and Roméo in Roméo et Juliette. Michael graduated with his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance this past May. Michael has won first place in both the Junior and Senior Men's Division at the Oklahoma National Teachers of Singing competition and was a recipient of the Vocal Music Scholarship at OSU and the Winifred and Maurice Hirsch Memorial Scholarship at UH. Michael currently resides in Houston, Texas, where he teaches Voice and Music Appreciation as an Adjunct Teacher at Lonestar Community College Tomball. He is a student of Joseph Evans.

2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist

Corey Bix

Opera News praises Corey Bix for his “clear sense of drama and self-possession, exhibiting sturdy, unwavering control, flinty resonance and confident high notes.”   In the 2017-18 season, he makes his Canadian Opera Company debut as Elemer in Arabella. Last season, he returned to Virginia Opera for his first performances of Max in Der Freischütz, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Énée and Helenus in Les Troyens, and  joined the Metropolitan Opera roster for its production of Der fliegende Holländer. He recently returned to San Francisco Opera as Augustin Moser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and also for its production of Jen?fa, joined Virginia Opera as Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, Austin Lyric Opera to reprise his acclaimed portrayal of Lennie in Of Mice and Men, and sang Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde at the Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico City.

Mr. Bix recently made a triumphant role debut as Énée in Les Troyens with San Francisco Opera.  His other recent performances include his European debut and return to Greek National Opera as the Prince in Rusalka with Greek National Opera and the title role of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Washington National Opera, Vienna Volksoper, Fort Worth Opera, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, and The Glimmerglass Festival; Erik in Der fliegende Holländer with Los Angeles Opera, Hungarian National Opera, and Arizona Opera; Kaiser in Die Frau ohne Schatten with Oper Graz; Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Theater Kiel; the title role of Flotow’s Alessandro Stradella with the Stadttheater Giesen; Heinrich in Tannhäuser; in addition to joining the Teatro alla Scala and Savonlinna Festival for their productions of Lohengrin and the Cleveland Orchestra for its tour of Daphne.  He has sung both Florestan in Fidelio and Lennie in Of Mice and Men with Utah Opera and Tulsa Opera, Sir Edgar Aubry in Der Vampyr with New Orleans Opera, Aegisth in Elektra with Des Moines Metro Opera, and Alfred in Die Fledermaus with Anchorage Opera.  He sang the First Senator in Die Gezeichneten while covering the role of Albiano under the baton of James Conlon at Los Angeles Opera and joined San Francisco Opera for the Fourth Jew in Salome.  With Santa Fe Opera he covered Yonas in Saariaho’s Adriana Mater, the title role of Lucio Silla, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and sang Dr. Caius in Falstaff and the Second Jew in Salome.  His other recent performances include Don Jose in Carmen with the Aspen Opera Theater with Julius Rudel conducting as well as with the Glacier Symphony in Montana, Tamino in the workshop of the family version of Die Zauberflöte with the Metropolitan Opera, and Sam in Susannah with New York Opera Projects.

Mr. Bix joined the American Symphony Orchestra for Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 3, Pharaoh in Dessau’s Hagadah shel Pessach, and Pheobus de Chateuoers in Schmidt’s Notre Dame, the Cathedral Choral Society for Janá?ek’s Glagolitic Mass at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., and Palm Beach Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem.  At the Bard Music Festival, he sang excerpts of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in concert along with a recital of German and joined the Wagner Society of Washington D.C. for a concert that included excerpts of Siegmund in Die Walküre and Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.  He sang the Fourth Jew in concert performances of Salome with Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.  He presented a recital with soprano Lauren Flanigan under the auspices of the George London Foundation at the Morgan Library as well as solo programs for the Wagner Society of New York and at his alma mater of Simpson College.

Mr. Bix is the 2008 winner of the Robert Lauch Memorial Grant from the Wagner Society of New York and the 2007 winner of the George London/Kirsten Flagstad Award for a singer with potential for a Wagnerian career as well as the foundation’s prestigious Vienna Prize.  Additionally, he has been a prizewinner in both the New England and Southeast regions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  He is a former member of the apprentice programs of the Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera and earned a Master of Music from New England Conservatory and his Bachelor of Music from Simpson College.

www.coreybix.com

Wayne Tigges

Wayne Tigges (Bass-Baritone) is quickly establishing himself as one of the bright young stars in the opera world today. He has sung at many of the great opera houses of the world including: The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opera, Glyndebourne, Opera del Liceu, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Teatro du Capitol Toulouse, among others.  Mr. Tigges Enjoys a strong relationship with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (12 roles with the company), San Francisco Opera (10 roles with the company), and the Santa Fe Opera (7 roles with the company).  In addition, he will be making his debuts at  Philadelphia Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Palm Beach Opera, Edmonton Opera, and the Des Moines Metro Opera in the near future. Mr. Tigges has appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world including: the NY Philharmonic, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes, among others.  He has worked with such conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Pierre Boulez, Nello Santi, Bruno Bartoletti, Sir Mark Elder, James Conlon,  Alan Gilbert, Esa Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, Stephan Deneve, and Harry Bicket.  Mr. Tigges repertoire includes Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. John's Passion, Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, Haydn's Creation, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C minor, Mendelsohnn's Elijah, Stravinsky's Les Noces and Rossignol, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Neilson's Symphony #3, and Zemlinsky's Psalm #3. Lauded by the Chicago Sun Times for his "rich, dark, and beautiful legato, Mr. Tigges is equally at home doing roles that require vocal acrobats, (roles in Handel, Rossini Opera), and roles that require significantly more heft (Wagner, Strauss, Verdi).  He has been involved in 7 world premieres, and has over 60 roles in his repertoire.

www.waynetigges.co

Stephanie Havey

Winner of the Adelaide Bishop award for artistic quality and winner of the Opera America Director-Designer Showcase, Stephanie Havey has directed for Opera Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Omaha, North Carolina Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Syracuse Opera, and Shreveport Opera.  Ms. Havey's new productions have been featured at Curtis Institute of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, Tulsa Opera, Opera Columbus, Opera North, Opera NEO, Opera Fayetteville, and Opera in the Heights.  Recently she joined the staging staff at San Francisco Opera and The Santa Fe Opera.

Upcoming engagements include Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, North American New Opera Workshop, and Lyrique-en-mer International Festival de Bell-Ile.

During her two seasons as the first Resident Artist Stage Director for the Pittsburgh Opera, she received rave reviews for her new production of and directed numerous productions and a staged recital series in the Opera Studio.  Professional credits also include engagements with Boston Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Sarasota Opera, Virginia Opera, Nashville Opera, Orlando Opera, and Opera New Jersey.

Ms. Havey has worked extensively with Young Artist training programs including Curtis Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Central City Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera North, OperaNEO, University of Delaware, and the Florida State Opera.  From 2007-2009, she was the Director of Opera Workshop at Middle Tennessee State University and Tennessee State University in Nashville.

www.stephaniehavey.com

Audrey Babcock

Audrey Babcock is an award-winning mezzo-soprano who is quickly gaining notoriety for her commanding, powerful performances as Carmen and her dark, hypnotic portrayals of Maddalena in Rigoletto. As Carmen, Ms. Babcock made her French debut with the Festival Lyrique-en-Mer and has performed the role with Florentine Opera, Nashville Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, San Antonio Opera, Knoxville Opera, Opera Delaware, Toledo Opera, Anchorage Opera, and Utah Festival Opera where The Salt Lake Tribune wrote “Audrey Babcock's performance as Carmen was a spellbinding tour de force...from the moment she took the stage her self-assured characterization was mesmerizing ...Babcock's caramel-hued mezzo was a pleasure…her supple tones caressed the notes, radiating earthy allure.”

Widely recognized as a choice singer for new works, Ms. Babcock has premiered several new operas including Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin (NY Premiere - Dicapo Opera), With Blood, With Ink (World Premiere - Fort Worth Opera), La Reina (American Lyric Theater, NY and Prototype Festival), The Poe Project (American Lyric Theater), and appeared as Mother in Winter’s Tale with Beth Morrison’s Prototype Festival in NYC in 2015. The 2016-2017 season included Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (New Orleans Opera), Aldonza in The Man of La Mancha (Utah Opera), Maddalena in Rigoletto (Palm Beach Opera), Carmen (Dayton Opera & Fort Worth Opera), and Mrs. Mister in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock (Opera Saratoga). The 2017-2018 season includes Verdi’s Requiem with the Dayton Symphony, the Secretary in The Consul with Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, and the title role in Maria de Buenos Aires with San Diego Opera.

www.audreybabcock.com

Anya Matanovic

Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovic made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera’s. In her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla, she was praised for her “sinuous soprano with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, [which] charmed the ears immediately…” and “first-class performance” (David Abrams, Musical Criticism).

This season sees the soprano make her company and role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, and debut with the Eugene Concert Choir for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Next season, she will return to Utah Opera, make her debut with the North Carolina Symphony, and join the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, covering the role of Ginevra in Handel's Ariodante.

Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovic (ma ta’ no vich) made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera. In her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla, she was praised for her “sinuous soprano with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, [which] charmed the ears immediately…” and “first-class performance” (David Abrams, Musical Criticism).

This season sees the soprano make her company and role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, and debut with the Eugene Concert Choir for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Next season, she will return to Utah Opera, and make her debut with the North Carolina Symphony. The 2016-2017 season began with an anticipated return to Seattle Opera, as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. The season also included notable role debuts, including Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progresswith Boston Lyric Opera, and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She also appeared in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony for Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Matanovic’s 2015-2016 season featured a debut with New Orleans Opera as Adele in Die Fledermaus.

The 2014-2015 season brought anticipated role debuts for Ms. Matanovic, as Violetta in La traviata with Boston Lyric Opera, as well as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in a return to Kentucky Opera. In the 2013-2014 season the soprano debuted with Opera Memphis, as Gilda in Rigoletto, Arizona Opera, for Musetta in La bohème, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, for Carmina Burana under Alastair Willis, and made a return to the Boston Youth Symphony, as Pamina in The Magic Flute.

During the 2012-2013 season, Anya Matanovic returned to Seattle Opera for Marzelline in Fidelio, and was praised for her “crystalline” and “substantial” tone (Seen and Heard International). She made her role debut as Gilda in Rigoletto with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and sang Pamina with both the Crested Butte Music Festival and Utah Opera. She closed the season as Wanda in a new production of Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Santa Fe Opera.

In the 2010-2011 season, Anya Matanovic essayed her first Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Madison Opera, returned to Seattle Opera for Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte, reprised the role of Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Utah Opera, and made her anticipated role and company debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla in Carmen, conducted by Music Director David Angus.

The 2009 – 2010 season saw Ms. Matanovic‘s company debut as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Kentucky Opera, her official stage debut with Seattle Opera, as Nannetta in Falstaff, an appearance at Madison Opera’s “Opera in the Park”, and her debut with the Richmond Symphony as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana.

In the fall of 2008, Ms. Matanovic made her Opera Cleveland debut as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, conducted by Artistic Director Dean Williamson, and returned for their spring production of Verdi’s Falstaff as Nannetta. In summer of 2009, she joined the Seattle Opera artist roster for their internationally revered production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Stephen Wadsworth.

Other notable engagements include New York City Opera, as Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, as well as productions of Massenet’s Cendrillon, La bohème, and Purcell’s King Arthur, and Santa Fe Opera, as a “pert, appealing” Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.

Ms. Matanovic is a graduate of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she appeared in their productions of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, as Flora, Mozart’s La Serva Padrona, as Serpina, and Falstaff, as Nannetta.

Anya Matanovic made her professional opera debut, directly from her undergraduate studies, as Mimì in the Los Angeles commercial engagement of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning production of La bohème. She appeared in University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music productions of The Crucible, Gianni Schicchi, and Hänsel und Gretel.

Ms. Matanovic is equally comfortable on the concert stage, having appeared with the Portland (OR) Chamber Orchestra, Hoku Concert Series in Hawaii, the Palm Springs Orchestra and the Music of Remembrance Concert Series in Seattle. Ms. Matanovic was also a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has been a prizewinner in competitions sponsored by such institutions as the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Opera Buffs, Leni Fe Bland, and the Sun Valley Opera.She is a co-founder of NachtMusik, an operatic outreach group dedicated to bringing opera to the many different communities of Los Angeles.

Anya was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Issaquah, Washington to a Slovenian-born father and an American mother. The soprano, her husband, television writer John P. Roche, and their daughter, Zara, spend their time between Vermont, Los Angeles and New York.

www.anyamatanovic.com

Nandani Maria Sinha

Mezzo-soprano Nandani Maria Sinha is an acclaimed performer of German and Indian descent. Born in the United States, Nandani began her formal training in in Germany before returning to the US, where she earned degrees from Cornell University and California State University at Los Angeles. Nandani began the 2017 - 18 season with the Los Angeles Opera Chorus in Beth Morrison Project's production of The Hubble Cantata by Paola Prestini. For Music at Westwood this season, she serves as the Alto Soloist in the Bach Magnificat, Handel's Messiah, and Dvorak's Mass in D. She also sang the Old Lady in Candide for LA Opera's series for educators and was a featured ensemble member for their production of Jack Perla’s Jonah and the Whale. She finishes the season with concert performances of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Palisades Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Bernstein selections with the California Philharmonic. She will also be seen as the Wardrobe in 5 Star Theatricals’ production of Beauty and the Beast, which also stars members of the original Broadway cast. Nandani made her debut with Opera Santa Barbara as La maestra della novizie in Suor Angelica, and returned for recent productions of The Cunning Little Vixen and La Rondine. Other recent highlights include the title role in La Cenerentola (Repertory Opera Company), Amneris in Aida (Marina Del Rey Symphony), The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors (Malibu Coast Chamber Opera), Mrs. Ott in Susannah (Opera Pasadena), and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Repertory Opera Company. Ms. Sinha has also been a frequent soloist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, and a recitalist in London, France, Austria and Germany. Additionally, she has presented recitals throughout South Africa for the No.1 Ladies’ Opera Festival. A great proponent of new music, Nandani has sung in the world premieres of multiple compositions by Annenberg Foundation Composition Fellow Maria Newman. Recently, she premiered the role of Lily and Our Lady in the musical Golden with music written by Grammy Award Winner Nathan Wang for the Paderewski Cycle Competition. Ms. Sinha was the first-prize winner in the 2012 Franz Liszt International Competition, and in 2014 she earned two additional International Prizes from the same organization, including a special award for “Best Vocal Interpretation of a Work by Franz Liszt.” Nandani was a winner of the Hollywood Opera Reading Club Vocal Scholarship Competition and has been a recipient of scholarships from the Opera Buffs and Celestial Opera. In 2013 and 2014, she was a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at Songfest, where she worked closely with William Bolcom, John Musto, Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, Susanne Mentzer, Margo Garrett, and Martin Katz.

www.mezzonani.com

Ashley Kay Armstrong

Mezzo-soprano Ashley Kay Armstrong makes her Opera Santa Barbara debut as Olga in Eugene Onegin as a member of the Chrisman Studio Artist program. This past season she was a Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre Young Artist, and sang Meg Brockie in Brigadoon and Lady in Waiting in Turandot. She was also an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera and sang Kylie K in the world premiere of Cosmic Ray and the Amazing Chris with Thompson Street Opera. Other highlights in her young career include the title role in Lucrezia and Isabelle Eberhardt (cover) in Song from the Uproar with Chicago Fringe Opera. She also appeared as the alto soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Chicago Sinfonietta. She attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where her roles included Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea, Suzette in Bluebeard's Waiting Room, The Wife in The Women, and Spectre/Alto Soloist in The Nightingale.

www.ashleyarmstrongmezzo.com

2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist

Samuel Ramey

For almost three decades, Samuel Ramey has reigned as one of the music world’s foremost interpreters of bass and bass-baritone operatic and concert repertoire. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated astounding versatility, singing roles ranging from Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo, which was the vehicle of his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 1984, to the dramatic proclamations of the title role in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, which he sang in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera televised by PBS. Mr. Ramey’s interpretations embrace the bel canto of Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti; the lyric and dramatic roles of Mozart and Verdi; and the heroic roles of the Russian and French repertoire. In recent seasons, he has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera as Timur in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Turandot. Other recent engagements include Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Rambaldo (La Rondine), and Pope Leo at the Met; Claudius (Hamlet) with Washington National Opera; Scarpia (Tosca) at Deutsche Oper Berlin; Méphistophélès in Nice; and the Grand Inquisitore (Don Carlos) with Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Ramey is well-known for his portrayals of devils and villains; Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust has become his most-performed role with over 200 performances in more than twenty productions. He is equally well-known throughout the world for his performances of Boito’s Mefistofele, including over 70 performances in the Robert Carsen production of this work specifically created for Mr. Ramey. He has also sung many performances of Berlioz’ devil in La damnation de Faust and the sinister Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. In 1996 Mr. Ramey presented a sold-out concert at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall titled "A Date with the Devil" in which he sang fourteen arias representing the core of this repertoire, and he continues to tour this pro gram throughout the world.  Throughout his career, Samuel Ramey has appeared on all the world's greatest stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra de Paris, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Teatro la Fenice, Teatro Colon, and the operas of Munich, Hamburg, Geneva, Florence, Zürich and Amsterdam, among others. He has worked with major conductors including Claudio Abbado, the late Leonard Bernstein, James Conlon, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle, Julius Rudel, the late Sir Georg Solti, and the late Herbert von Karajan. Samuel Ramey holds the distinction of being the most recorded bass in history. His more than eighty recordings include complete operas, recordings of arias, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums on every major label. In 1998 the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the rank of Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters. Mr. Ramey is a native of Colby, Kansas.

Yazid Gray

Baritone Yazid Gray is originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is a recent graduate of University of Michigan where he received his Master’s in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Stephen Lusmann. While at Michigan, Yazid performed several roles within their main stage opera seasons. These include Mercutio (Roméo et Juliette), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Oliver Jordan in the Michigan premiere of William Bolcom’s newest opera, Dinner at Eight. In the summer of 2018, Yazid joins the Studio Artist Program at Opera Maine where he will sing the role of Charlie in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. Other operatic roles include Silvio (Pagliacci) and Sid (Albert Herring) with Opera in the Ozarks, Undertaker and Frazier (Porgy and Bess) with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, MI. He is an alumnus of DePauw University where he studied with Caroline Smith. During his time at DePauw, Yazid sang roles such as Frank (Die Fledermaus), Nardo (La Finta Giardiniera), Ottone (L’incoronazione di Poppea), John Brooke (Little Women), as well as a wide range of operatic and musical theater scenes. He has worked with well-known composers, which include Mark Adamo, John Corigliano, Roberto Sierra, Adam Guettel, and Gabriela Frank. Outside of opera, Yazid has performed roles in several musicals such as Jim Conley (Parade) and Hunter Bell ([title of show]), both with DePauw University, Al (The Most Happy Fella) and Ivor (Babes in Arms) with the College Light Opera Company in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist

Nathan Granner

Tenor Nathan Granner, a renowned solo and collaborative artist, has a “vibrant and flexible” voice (The Boston Globe) and “possesses utter control of a ravishing mixed head sound” (Opera News). Mr. Granner uses his voice in styles ranging from opera to jazz and classical cross-over performances. This season, Mr. Granner was seen at Long Beach Opera in the title role in The Invention of Morel by Stewart Copeland of The Police and Jonathan Moore. His diverse repertoire includes Curly in Oklahoma! (Charlottesville Opera) and Kanye West in Hunter Shelby Long’s Fair Looks and True Obedience (known as the “Kardashian opera”, it is set during the hour before Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding). He has also performed Nemorino in The Elixir of Love, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and Rodolfo in La bohème with companies such as Lyric Opera Kansas City, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Tulsa Opera, Spoleto USA, Wolf Trap and Glimmerglass Opera. In the crossover realm, he is a founding member of The American Tenors, whose Sony Masterworks album reached top five in the classical crossover charts. Nathan has also toured extensively with classical guitarist Beau Bledsoe, singing new arrangements of lieder and chanson, flamenco, tango,Turkish music and new compositions. Mr. Granner has also performed at dozens of charitable fundraisers with David Foster and Friends, helping raise tens of millions of dollars to find the cures for Parkinson’s disease, cancer and to aid in Children’s Health, Wildlife Conservation and Substance Abuse.

www.ngranner.com

Eleni Calenos

Greek soprano Eleni Calenos is capturing critics' and audiences' admiration for her warm, beautiful voice and her dignified characterizations. Of her performance as Tosca, Opera News said: "Eleni Calenos gave a performance for the ages, both vocally and dramatically." Recent appearances include Giorgetta in Il Tabarro (Opera Company of Middlebury), Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly (Annapolis Opera and Ash Lawn Opera), Tosca (Opera Idaho), Mimì in La bohème (Shreveport Opera and Palm Beach Opera), Micaëla in Carmen (Palm Beach Opera), and Desdemona in Otello (Phoenicia International Festival). In the 2016/2017 season, she sang Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica with Opera Delaware, and covered Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly for Glyndebourne Opera. Her repertoire also includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Liù in Turandot, Nedda in Pagliacci, Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Lia in Debussy's L'Enfant Prodigue, Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and the title role in The Merry Widow with companies including Palm Beach Opera, Shreveport Opera, Opera Idaho, Tulsa Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Sarasota Opera, Mississippi Opera, and Zomeropera (Belgium). Her concert repertoire includes Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Strauss' Four Last Songs, Verdi's Messa da Requiem, and Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Her recordings include Mascagni's Zanetto with Odyssey Opera of Boston, and George Tsontakis' Mirologhia, released on the KOCH International Classics. Ms. Calenos won the Gerda Lissner Foundation award (2010), and was a finalist of the Renata Tebaldi International Vocal Competition in San Marino (2009), and the Concurso del Canto de Bilbao (2008). She was a member of Boston University's Opera Institute and holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from Queens College in New York, as well as a Diploma in Violoncello Performance form the Municipal Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Greece.

elenicalenos.com

Zach Mendez

Zach Mendez joined the Opera Santa Barbara team in February 2018. A native of Dallas, TX, he moved to Santa Barbara in 2015 to begin his graduate work at UCSB.

Zach has a long history with OSB, having appeared multiple times as a chorus member and soloist with the company. During his time as Director of Operations, he oversaw the creation and execution of the OSB's first young professionals group “Operacurious.” In 2020, he helped manage “Operation Eurydice”, the company’s initiative to employ local musicians during the pandemic. A professional photographer and videographer, Zach has documented the company's activities both on stage and off since 2018. 

Zach also runs a freelance photo + video business where he specializes in weddings, portraits, events, and performing arts.  In his free time, he enjoys running, eating plant-based, and creating videos for his YouTube channel.

Zach holds a Masters of Music from the University of California Santa Barbara and a BFA in voice and drama from Carnegie Mellon University.

Learn more about Zach at his website.

Alison Moritz photo

Alison Moritz

Stage Director Alison Moritz’s recent productions have been lauded as “about as gorgeous and accessible as any opera anywhere” (The Commercial Appeal), and her work has been praised for its “incredible economy of resources, lean production design, and eye for jest and banter” by The Orlando Examiner.

A “rising young star on the contemporary American opera scene” (89.5 Tulsa), Ms. Moritz’s diverse projects for 2017-2018 include the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s newest opera Proving Up (Washington National Opera, AOI), as well as new productions of Orpheus in the Underworld (New Orleans Opera), Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Madison Opera), Trouble in Tahiti (Opera Santa Barbara), and a genre-bending triple bill of rarities for Bard Conservatory (Pulcinella, Full Moon in March, and Svadba). This season, Ms. Moritz also directs a new staging of Madama Butterfly (Syracuse Opera), collaborates with IlluminArts to profile artist Ana Mendieta, joins the Santa Fe Opera directing staff, and continues ongoing collaborations with the Resonant Bodies Festival and The Knights.

Alison’s exciting 2016-2017 season included several innovative productions of American operas: The Manchurian Candidate (Austin Opera), Candide (Orlando Philharmonic), The Tender Land (Crane School of Music), Our Town (Townsend Opera, Fresno Grand Opera), Hydrogen Jukebox (Tri-Cities Opera), Cabildo, and Gallantry (Central City Opera). Recently, the Austin Chronicle named Alison’s production of The Manchurian Candidate the #1 Classical Music/Dance event of 2016, and the production received seven Austin Critic’s Award Nominations and four wins (including “Best Opera Production”).

Previously, Alison served as the Resident Assistant Director at both the Minnesota Opera and The Atlanta Opera. Her professional credits include engagements with Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Memphis, and Chautauqua Opera. As a teacher and guest director, Alison has taught at Eastman School of Music, Maryland Opera Studio, Crane School of Music, and for Steven Blier and Caramoor’s Vocal Rising Stars program.

Alison continues both her acting training and administrative interests and has worked and trained with companies such as the SITI Company of New York City, OPERA America, Geva Theatre Center, Third Rail Projects, Nautilus Music Theater, and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. She holds a B.A. in Music and Art History from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.M. from Eastman School of Music, and was the recipient of the 2015-2016 recipient of the SDCF/Kurt Weill Foundation Fellowship. Alison is based in New York City and St. Louis, Missouri.

Vincent Grana

Vincent Grana (Bass) is based in Los Angeles, CA. He has received his B. M. Magna Cum Laude in Music Education and an M.M. in Vocal Performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. At Rutgers, Mr. Grana has received many awards for academic and performing achievements including the Presser Foundation award and the Michael Fardink Memorial Award. He has also performed with the Castleton Festival under the baton of Maestro Lorin Maazel covering such roles as Benoît and Alcindoro (La bohème), Simone (Gianni Schicchi), and Escamillo in a concert performance of Carmen. Mr. Grana has performed in the Crested Butte Music Festival’s production of L’elisir d’amore (Dulcamara) and has worked with eminent artists such as Samuel Ramey. In 2013, Mr. Grana was named a Philadelphia District winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Mr. Grana has also sung with Sarasota Opera as one of their apprentice artists for the final season of the Verdi Cycle. Mr. Grana received an encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the Los Angeles District. He also that same year was a grant recipient of the Opera Buffs in Southern California. Mr. Grana recently debuted at Dayton Opera performing the role of Zuniga in their production of Bizet’s Carmen. This past summer, he performed the role of Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance program. Mr. Grana was invited back to Dayton in the fall of 2017 to sing a concert of Bach’s Cantata 80 and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. His 2018 engagements include performing the role of Noye in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, and the officer in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Santa Barbara. In the coming summer, Mr. Grana will perform the role of Doctor Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Aspen Opera Center as a Fellowship artist.

Nathan Stark

 

Don Basilio /
The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Alexander Elliott

 

Figaro / The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Linda Van Buren

David Peri

Paksy Plackis-Cheng

William Jones

Carolina Montgomery

J. Gordon Schontzler *

William Ramsay +

Mary Hampson

M

Jayne Menkemeller

Matt Hanscom

 

Monsieur de Brétigny / Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Marylove Thralls

Marylove Thralls previously served as a marketing and development associate at Opera Santa Barbara before being named an adjunct professor at Santa Barbara City College.

She has been involved in the performing arts her entire adult life – first in New York, then Tulsa, where she was marketing director for Light Opera Oklahoma and a member of the Tulsa Opera Chorus for several years. Just prior to moving to Santa Barbara in 2003, her chorus master at Tulsa Opera was Kostis Protopapas. Marylove has sung with Opera Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West Summer Festival Opera Chorus, and the Santa Barbara Choral Society.

A member of the City Arts Advisory Committee, Marylove serves on the Board of Santa Barbara Revels and the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation. She has a master's degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma and is the author of three books.

Chelsea Melamed photo

Chelsea Melamed

 

Dinah / Trouble in Tahiti

April 2018

 

Javotte / Manon

November 2017

 

Chrisman Studio Artist

2017–2018

Jonathan Walker-VanKuren photo

Jonathan Walker-VanKuren

A native of Rome, Pennsylvania, tenor Jonathan Walker-VanKuren holds a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, both in vocal performance. While at MSU, Mr. Walker-VanKuren received the 2016-17 Mackey Scholar of Vocal Music Endowment, which is awarded to one exceptional vocal graduate student each school year. His operatic performances include appearances as Martin in The Tender Land, Leon in Signor Deluso, Reverend Eager in A Room With a View, and, most recently, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro. Mr. Walker-VanKuren made his Beethoven 9 debut with the Livingston Symphony Orchestra as the tenor soloist. He recently covered the roles of Des Grieux in Manon and Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville for Opera Santa Barbara.

Elle Valera

Soprano Elle Valera is a recent alumna of Opera Santa Barbara's Chrisman Studio Artist Program. As part of the program, she sang Berta in The Barber of Seville and Poussette in Manon; she also covered the title role in Manon and both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for the company. She is a recent L.A. District Winner and Western Region Finalist for the Metropolitan Council Auditions. She was a 2017 fellowship student at the Aspen Music Festival, where she covered the roles of Feu, Princesse, and Le Rossignol in Ravel's L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. In previous years, she was an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, where she performed the roles of Madame Herz in The Impresario and Sarah in The Ballad of Baby Doe, taking home Central City’s McGlone Guild Award for outstanding performance. Elle attended UCLA's Herb Alpert School of Music on a full scholarship and received her master’s degree in music in 2014. While at UCLA, she sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the title role in Il Segreto di Susanna. Ms. Valera holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of California, Irvine, and is the recipient of several awards, including the 2016 Pasadena Opera Guild Young Artist Award and an Encouragement Award from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Council Auditions in 2014. Beyond opera, Elle is a plus-size model represented by Bicoastal Management and an Instagram influencer and blogger, promoting body positivity and diversity.

Steve Gilbar

Louise Gaylord

Kenneth Fitzpatrick

Léni Fé Bland +

Nick DiNapoli

George DeRado +

Denise DeBellefeuille

Marilyn Crawford

Bonnie Corman *

James Ballantine *

Jim Burkemper +

Sue Birch

Britt Beauvoix

Richard Aberle +

Daniel Hone

Born in San Francisco, Mr. Hone completed his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley before earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in physics at the University of Illinois. He joined the faculty at UC Santa Barbara in 1968 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at École Normale Supérieure in Paris and serving as an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also held temporary academic appointments at the University of Paris, Oxford University, and Tokyo University. Among other administrative posts at UC Santa Barbara, he has served as Physics Department chairman, deputy director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics, and associate dean of the College of Letters and Science. Mr. Hone has been a Board director for Camerata Pacifica, Planned Parenthood, and Ensemble Theatre.

Robert Weinman

Dr. Weinman earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at Caltech before pursuing postdoctoral studies in elementary particle theory at Tel Aviv University. He spent his entire career at Northrop, joining the company as a research scientist and later serving as a section manager for the MX missile program. Dr. Weinman was awarded consecutive National Science Foundation and Westinghouse fellowships in the early to mid-1960s. Formerly a Board member for the Music Academy of the West and Long Beach Opera, he has also generously supported Camerata Pacifica, UCSB Arts & Lectures, Opera Santa Barbara, the Los Angeles Opera, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Metropolitan Opera, and the Whitney Museum. He currently serves on the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors.

Eric Small

Born in Avalon, Catalina Island, Mr. Small completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA before earning a master’s degree at Otis Institute. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 22, he soon became a serious student of Iyengar Yoga, and went on to study with the discipline’s founder, B.K.S. Iyengar, in Pune, India. Mr. Small frequently conducts therapeutic yoga workshops and seminars throughout the United States. Through his Stress Control Systems Trust, based in Montecito, he creates programs specifically for clients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. He was inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2001. Mr. Small currently serves on the Board of Directors for USC, the Doheny Eye Institute, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Peter Strummer

 

Doctor Bartolo /
The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Cassandra Zoe Velasco

 

Rosina / The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Andrew Bidlack

Featured by Opera News as one of their 'top 25 brilliant young artists' (October 2015), tenor Andrew Bidlack began the 2016-17 Season at Dallas Opera where he prepares two new roles: Lensky in Eugene Onegin and Greenhorn/Ishmael in Moby. He develops the role of Christopher Morcom in The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing (by Justine Chen and David Simpatico) for American Lyric Theater, and travels to Madison Opera for the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. Also in Madison he performs with the Madison Symphony Orchestra Principle Organist in a program of arias from Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and other opera favorites. He reprises Rob Hall in a concert performance of Joby Talbot's Everest at Dallas Opera, and Getry's rarely heard opera Zémire et Azor makes great use of the artist's flexible coloratura when he sings the title role at Saratoga Opera.

Recent highlights include his European and UK debut in the challenging role of Private John Ball in In Parenthesis, Welsh National Opera's world-premiere by Iain Bell, directed by David Poutney and conducted by Carlo Rizzi with performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; and his Metropolitan Opera of New York debut as Beppe in I pagliacci, where he also sang the Lamplighter while covering Edmondo Manon in Lescaut for which he won critical accolades. At Arizona Opera he joined the production of Florencia en el Amazonas as Arcadio.

Bidlack is a frequent interpreter of contemporary music; he created the roles of Rob Hall in Joby Talbot's Everest at Dallas Opera and that of Irving Tashman in Ricky Ian Gordon's Morning Star at Cincinnati Opera. He workshopped Greenhorn/Ishmael in the developmental production of Moby Dick at San Francisco Opera while he was an Adler Fellow and inaugurated Tandcredi in The Inspector (John Musto) at Wolf Trap. As a Merolino, he created the role of Charles Carter in Thomas Pasatieri's The Hotel Casablanca. Making his debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago, he appeared at Carnegie Hall as The Young Collector in their production of A Streetcar Named Desire with Renée Fleming, a role he also sang in Chicago. At Dallas Opera, he sang Sandy in The Lighthouse for the inception of their Chamber Opera Series.

With a large number of Rossini/Mozart and bel canto roles also to his credit, Andrew has appeared as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte at Florida Grand Opera; Rodrigo in Rossini's Otello at Opera Southwest; Almaviva and Don Ramiro La cenerentola at Opera Omaha; Tonio in La fille du régiment at Palm Beach Opera and PORTopera; Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor at San Francisco Opera; Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore at Empire State Lyric Theater; and Bastien in Bastien and Bastienna at Des Moines Metro Opera.

Josh Shaw

One of Musical America’s Top 30 Innovators in Classical Music in 2016, Josh Shaw is the Executive and Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Project (POP), a Los Angeles based company dedicated to presenting accessible, affordable, and ENTERTAINING opera.  Over the past nine seasons, he has directed over 30 productions at POP including The Rake’s Progress, Ariadne auf Naxos, La calisto, Tosca: A Moving Production, and La boheme: AKA “The Hipsters”. Mr. Shaw’s reimagining of Die Entführung aus dem Serail as an episode of Star Trek has gained national attention and has been produced by eight companies selling out houses with record-breaking numbers. Since turning his attention to directing in 2011, he has directed over 70 productions at companies including New Orleans Opera, Intermountain Opera, The Southern Illinois Music Festival, Opera Neo, Alamo City Opera, Queen City Opera, Opera Orlando, and Salt Marsh Opera. He directed Il barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Santa Barbara last season. Other recent projects include productions of Don Giovanni, La gazzetta(Rossini), La traviata, Guillaume TellCarmen, and Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera, a newly rediscovered operetta by G. W. Chadwick, last performed in 1894. Mr. Shaw also wrote a new book and additional lyrics for the project that celebrated the McIlhenney Company’s 150thanniversary. In addition to the rewrite of Tabasco and the new book and lyrics for Abduction from the Seraglio, Mr. Shaw has written several English version librettos for operas including a Wild West setting of Die Lustige Witwe, a contemporary setting of Die Schauspieldirektor, and most recently a hit production of Die Zauberflüteset in the world of 1980s video games.  Next month he directs a groundbreaking production of Madama Butterflysung in Japanese and English, a co-production of POP and Opera in Heights (Houston). Other upcoming projects include Il trovatoreat The Southern Illinois Music Festival, Gianni Schicchiat Opera Columbus, and I pagiliacciat Salt Marsh Opera. More details at joshshaw.org.

 

Stage Director / The Barber of Seville

March 2018 (debut)

Stage Director / Doctor Miracle

March 2019

Alex DeSocio

 

Lescaut /
Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Sarah Coburn

 

Manon Lescaut /
Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Kristine McIntyre

 

Stage Director /
Manon

November 2017 (debut)

Elliott Deasy

Elliott Deasy grew up in Tulsa, and holds a degree in music from University of Tulsa. He is an alumnus of Opera SB's Studio Artist Program, where he performed Pasek in The Cunning Little Vixen and Rememdado in Carmen and covered Don Jose and Prunier in La Rondine. He was also a Tulsa Opera Young Artist, covering Rodolfo in La bohème and singing The Messenger in Samson et Dalila. Other highlights in the tenor's young career include Brighella in the Costa Rican premiere of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos for the Jovanes Cantantes in San Jose,  Schubert's Mass in G Major with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra, and Basilio in The Bronx Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro. His teachers include Peter Strummer and Frank Lopardo.

Sandra Nam

Having performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia and the United States as a solo pianist, Sandra Nam’s recent performances have been at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angles performing Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto and at the University of Music in Vienna, Austria in cooperation with Vienna’s Classical Radio Station Ö1.

Ms. Nam has gained a reputation as a collaborative pianist and performs regularly with instrumental and vocal artists, choirs and in chamber music groups. Opera Santa Barbara marks her first collaboration with an opera company. Additionally, Ms. Nam is an avid supporter of young musicians and launched a concert series that provides opportunities for aspiring musicians under the age of 21 to perform frequently in public.

Born in Los Angeles, Ms. Nam relocated to Vienna, Austria at the age of 10 to pursue her musical studies. Fluent in four languages, she holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria and Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, France. Upon earning an additional Master’s degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California, Ms. Nam was awarded the Ensemble Award and Outstanding Graduate Departmental Award and graduated Pi Kappa Lambda. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate and a Teaching Assistant of the Keyboard Department at USC.

Byron Mayes Photo

Byron Mayes

 

Sam / Trouble in Tahiti

April 2018

 

Fiorello / Il barbiere di Siviglia

March 2018

 

Guard / Manon

November 2017

 

Crébillon / La rondine

November 2016

 

Chrisman Studio Artist

2017–2018

Christine Holland

Steven Tompkins

Rebecca Fay

Alissa Anderson

Hailed for her “deliciously over the top” and “powerful mezzo” by Opera News, Alissa Anderson wields her comic prowess, striking features, and her “powerful vocalism” to great acclaim. Ms. Anderson achieved a considerable success and was celebrated for being “impeccably prepared” and “splendid in every way” when she stepped in as Florence Pike in Santa Fe Opera’s Albert Herring under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis.  In the 2019/2020 season, Ms. Anderson will make her company and role debuts with Opera Philadelphia as Princess Clarissa in Prokofiev’s The Love of Three Oranges as well as both her role and European debuts as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with The Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. In the spring she returns to Opera Birmingham to sing the role of Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillion. The 2017-2018 season featured her debut with Opera Birmingham and Opera Louisiana in the title role of La tragédie de Carmen, her debut with Opera Delaware as Frugola/La Zia Principessa in Il trittico, and her debut with Utah Festival Opera as The Witch in Into the Woods. The 2018-2019 season includes Ms. Anderson’s return to San Diego Opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto, her debut with Opera San Antonio as Marthe in Faust, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Ms. Andrew/The Bird Woman in Mary Poppins in a return to Utah Festival Opera, and the starring role in the world premiere of the opera Debussy & Ravel: The Flowers of Evil with Mercury Chamber Orchestra at the Wortham Center in Houston, TX. 

 

The 2016-2017 season saw her debut with San Diego Opera as Tisbe in La Cenerentola, a New Year’s Eve gala concert with Opera Southwest, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with North Carolina Opera, Verdi’s Requiem with the Houston Camerata, and La Zia Principessa/Ciesca in Il trittico with the Opera Company of Middlebury. Other recent performances for Ms. Anderson include La Zia Principessa/Zita in Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi with Opera Santa Barbara, Cleo in The Most Happy Fella with Tulsa Opera, Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress with Utah Opera, and her debut with Houston Grand Opera’s East + West series in River of Light by composer Jack Perla and librettist Chitra Divakaruni. In addition, she made, her “comically perfect” debut as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff with Opera in the Heights, Lampito in Lysistrata with Fort Worth Opera, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Santa Barbara, Emilia in Otello and Zulma in L’italiana in Algeri with Opera Southwest, Madame de la Haltiere in Cendrillion and the Mother in Hansel and Gretel with the Santa Fe Concert Association, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera in the Heights, and her return to Santa Fe Opera where she sang the Society Woman in The Last Savage. Recent concert engagements have included John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Concordia University Symphony Orchestra, her European concert debut as mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with performances throughout Germany and France and her Lincoln Center debut as the mezzo soloist in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

 

At Sarasota Opera, Ms. Anderson performed the roles of Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, and Flora in La Traviata. As a resident and principal artist with Fort Worth Opera she performed the roles of Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, and the Angel Trio in Angels in America. Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News praised her 2010 performance of Verdi’s Requiem with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra stating, “Mezzo Alissa Anderson supplied aptly rich tones and an awesome chest voice.”

 

Other notable engagements include her Tisbe in La Cenerentola and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera New Jersey, Flora in La Traviata and Mercedes in Carmen with Pensacola Opera, and Flora in La Traviata with Nevada Opera.  As a young artist, she performed with the Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Ashlawn-Highland Opera, as well as spending three consecutive summers at the Seagle Music Colony where she sang the title role in Carmen, Anita in West Side Story, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alma March in Little Women, Woman in Marry Me A Little, and Hedy La Rue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

Ms. Anderson holds her Master of Music in Opera Performance from The University of Maryland and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas. 

 

 

The Princess  / Suor Angelica

April 2016

 

Zita / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Marcellina / Le nozze di Figaro

March 2012

 

Flora / La traviata

March 2011 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2011

Malcolm MacKenzie

Ryan MacPherson

Rebecca Davis

Christopher Remmel

Daniela Mack

Valéry Ryvkin

 

Conductor / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Conductor / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Conductor / La traviata

December 2000

 

Conductor / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Conductor / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000

 

Conductor /
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

October 1999

 

Conductor / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Conductor / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Conductor / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Conductor / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

Conductor / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

Conductor / Tosca

September 1997

 

Conductor / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Conductor / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Conductor / Carmen

August 1996

 

Conductor / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

 

Artistic Director

1999–2008

Patricia Racette

Rosa D'Imperio

Mark Rucker

Joe Goode

Joe Goode is a choreographer, writer, and director widely known as an innovator in the field of dance for his willingness to collide movement with spoken word, song, and visual imagery. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007, and the United States Artists Glover Fellowship in 2008. In 2006, Goode directed the opera Transformations for the San Francisco Opera Center. His play Body Familiar, commissioned by the Magic Theatre in 2003, was met with critical acclaim. The Joe Goode Performance Group, formed in 1986, tours regularly throughout the U.S., and has toured internationally to Canada, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Goode is known as a master teacher; his summer workshops in "felt performance" attract participants from around the world, and the company's touring teaching residencies are hugely popular. He is a member of the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. Goode's performance-installation works have been commissioned by the Fowler Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles, Krannert Art Museum, the Capp Street Project, the M.H. de Young Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. His dance theater work has been commissioned by Pennsylvania Ballet, Zenon Dance Company, AXIS Dance Company and Dance Alloy Theater among others. Goode and his work have been recognized by numerous awards for excellence including the American Council on the Arts, the New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie), and Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (Izzies).

Mark Morash

 

Conductor /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015

 

Conductor / La Serva Padrona
& Trouble in Tahiti

April 2011 (debut)

Peter Lindskoog

 

Rambaldo/ La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Paula Von Simson

Paula Von Simson

Timothy Beenken

Sandra L. Urquhart *

Sandra Urquhart has been very active on the OSB Board serving as both Secretary and as a recent past Board President. She graduated from Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Ohio and most recently worked as an RN teaching and specializing in cardiology and cardiac angiography at Cottage Hospital.

 

Judith F. Smith

Joan Rutkowski

Joan Rutkowski joined the Board in 2008 after having served as Artistic Administrator for Opera Santa Barbara (2000-2008). She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of The Granada Theatre, and served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Symphony, Music Academy of the West and the Ojai Festival. For 18 years she was Executive Director of Esperia Foundation. She had a distinguished career as an opera singer and vocal teacher/coach and has given masterclasses in the US, China and Taiwan. She holds a M.M. in Opera Performance from USC and as a grand finalist in the San Francisco Opera auditions, was a member of the Merola Program of the San Francisco Opera.

Paksy Plackis-Cheng

Paksy is the International Marketing Strategist with Delta Advisory Group, providing sales and marketing consulting to web, mobile and information technology companies. Paksy served in marketing and communications management positions for Openwave Systems Europe, Middle East and Africa. Her career also includes key international marketing management roles at ePresence (formerly Banyan Systems) and consulting for notable software companies in Europe.

Paksy, a Dutch native, earned her B.A. from Erasmus University, Faculty of Economics, the Netherlands. She currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Board of the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Mary Penny

Mary has been involved with Opera Santa Barbara's Board of Directors since its beginning, having served as Vice President, Treasurer, and currently as Secretary.  She also sits on the Architectural, Development and Finance Committees, as well as chairing the Human Resources Committee. She retired from her position as CEO of the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter following a career of more than 35 years. She has served on numerous local and national Boards, including the University Club, Woman's Club, American Women for International Understanding, SB Committee on Foreign Relations, American Red Cross Retiree Council, and Santa Barbara Associates. Mary graduated from California State University with a degree in Liberal Arts.

Eric Oltmann

Eric Oltmann is a retired Navy pilot and engineer. In addition to the Opera Board, he serves as President of the Ventura Music Festival. He serves on the Development and Marketing Committees. In addition to his musical interests, he is an avid collector and has been involved in wildlife conservation.

A.C. Moore

A.C. Moore is Chief Investment Strategist for Dunvegan Associates, Inc and has over 30 years of Wall Street experience as a securities analyst, research director and portfolio manager. He was a consultant to the Council of Economic Advisors during two presidential administrations and is among the top most-quoted market strategists in the country and a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN and other media outlets. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Wake Forest University and a JD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Law. He has served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Symphony Endowment Trust and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA).

Susannah Biller

Marlyn Bernard Bernstein +

Marlyn Bernstein moved to Santa Barbara in 1976, at which time she became involved in her synagogue and has served twice as their president in her twenty-nine years on the Board of Trustees. She is a member of Hadassah, also serving twice as president.

In addition to her service as a Director on the Opera Santa Barbara Board, Marlyn is a member of the board of the Lobero Theater, the Santa Barbara Symphony and Boxtales Theater Co. Marlyn formerly taught Porcelain Art in the Santa Barbara City College Adult Education Division and is a member of both the Santa Barbara Porcelain Artists and Santa Barbara Art Association. Among her great passions are books, jazz, opera, theater, classical music and her nine grandchildren.

Daniel Reicker, Esq.

Dan Reicker is a principal in Reicker, Clough, Pfau, McRoy and Herman LLP. He has practiced business law in Santa Barbara since 1972 with an emphasis in real estate, tax, corporate securities, mergers and acquisitions. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of San Francisco, and a J.D. at Hastings College of Law, University of California. He was admitted to the Bar in California and Washington, D.C. Dan has previously served on the opera's Finance Committee and been a member of the board for the past ten years.

Ida Rickborn

Ida Rickborn has served as Secretary and Education Committee (Chair), Finance Committee and Executive Committee during her four-year tenure on the OSB Board. Prior to her retirement from a distinguished teaching career, she served a four-year term as Superintendent of the Goleta Union School District. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of California (UCLA and UCSB respectively).

Simon Williams

Simon Williams, is Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance at UCSB where he has taught for more than 25 years. Educated in his native England, Dr. Williams holds a doctorate in European Literature. He has served on the OSB Board for the past four years, and currently chairs the Artistic Planning Committee. He is familiar to opera patrons as a frequent lecturer for OSB's Opera on the Go series and for the pre-opera talks prior to all OSB productions.

Nancy Golden*

Nancy Golden is the principal of Golden Direct, a direct mail consulting service provider to environmental, performing arts, human services organizations and museums. Previously, she held a variety of marketing positions at Time, Inc. for 21 years. Golden is a graduate of Russell Sage College with a degree in English Literature. She previously served as a board member from 1999-2002 and as Marketing Committee member since 1999. She currrently chairs the Marketing Committee and serves on the Executive and Development Committees.

Duncan Mellichamp

Professor Emeritus in the Chemical Engineering Department at UCSB, Duncan Mellichamp earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. He was a founding faculty member of his department at UCSB where he has enjoyed a 40-plus year career. He and his wife Suzanne, were awarded the Santa Barbara Medal in 2007, UCSB's highest award, in recognition for their philanthropy and service to the university.

*Former Board Chair

John Kimberling

Hila Plitmann

Kim Josephson

Lauren Flanigan

Scott Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz

Victoria Hart

 

Berta / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Mamma Lucia / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999 (debut)

J.R. Calvert

Matthew Edwardsen

Ani Maldjian

Paul Sahuc

Leigh Allen

. Theatre Company of Upland

Eugene Opera

Miller James

Robert Ashens

Chad Berlinghieri

Jeffrey Springer

Terry Cook

Eugene Chan

Janette Zilioli

Ciera Lamborn

Jamie Offenbach

 

Don Basilio / The Barber of Seville

May 2001 (debut)

Tom Ruzika

Chautauqua Opera

Derrick Parker

Rena Harms

 

Donna Elvira / Don Giovanni

November 2015

 

Micaëla / Carmen

March 2009 (debut)

Michael Hayes

Career highlights have included Don José in Carmen and Danillo in The Merry Widow with New York City Opera, FloridaGrand Opera, and Portland Opera; Cavaradossi in Tosca with Florida Grand Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Opera Santa Barbara; Radames in Aida with Manitoba Opera, Portland Opera, and Nashville Opera; the title role in Otello with Opera de Nantes and Amsterdam's RAI-Theater; the title role in Les Contes D’Hoffmann and Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer with Fort Worth Opera; the title roles in Faust, Les Contes D’Hoffmann, and Werther with Portland Opera; the title roles in Les Contes D’Hoffmann and Faust with Cleveland Opera; Calaf in Turandot with Knoxville Opera, Edmonton Opera, Virginia Opera, Calgary Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Opera North; Rodolfo in La bohème with New York City Opera, Portland Opera, and Austria's Kamptal Festival; Schwalb in Mathis der Mahler

Emily Langford Johnson

Vernon Hartman

 

Baron Scarpia / Tosca

September 1997 (debut)

Nir Kabaretti

Michael Jackowitz

Matt Williams

David Lander

Alejo Vietti

Heidi Ettinger

Craig Hart

Michael Wanko

Nicolai Janitzky

Robert McPherson

 

Count Almaviva / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Don Ramiro / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Susan Holsonbake

Daniel Narducci

Barbara Divis

 

Micaëla / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Nedda / Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Mark Somerfield

Jean-François Revon

Layna Chianakas

In a career that has spanned three decades, Stage Director, Mezzo-Soprano, and Voice Teacher, Layna Chianakas has portrayed over 50 leading opera roles across the United States, including over 80 performances of Carmen. Most recently, she was heard with Intermountain Opera, in the role Mme. Larina in Eugene Onegin and with Livermore Valley Opera as Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin. She returns to both companies this spring as Emilia in Verdi’s Otello, and Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. 

 As an award-winning opera Stage Director, her most recent win was the 2021 American Prize for Opera Production for Livermore Valley Opera’s double-bill of Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy and Pucinni’s Gianni Schicchi and the National Opera Association third prize for Postcard from Morocco for the San José State Opera Theater.  For Opera San José, she directed La Voix humaine, Hansel & Gretel, Carmen and Il barbiere di Siviglia. Other directing credits include, Le nozze di Figaro, Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges, Die Fledermaus, Orpheus in the Underworld, as well as a fully-staged version of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.  Rachel J. Peter’s Rootabaga Country marked her third production as the Stage Director for the Vivace Youth Chorus Summer Opera Workshop, which saw her productions of Menotti’s Chip and His Dog, and Krasa’s Brundibar. Opera Santa Barbara presented her Summer Youth Opera production of Ben Moore’s Odyssey, Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus for Soprano Young Artist, Brooklyn Snow, and she returns again this October to stage their double-bill of Falla’s El amor brujo (with choreographer, Cecily MacDougall) and Puccini’s Il Tabarro.

 In addition to a thriving private voice studio, Ms. Chianakas is Vocal Director of Musical Theater for Valley Christian High School Conservatory in San Jose, CA, where her credits include, Hello, Dolly!, Mary Poppins, Godspell, Found: A Musical Revue, and The Addams Family.

She lives in San Jose, CA with her husband, and two children; her greatest productions.

 

Last OSB Role: Stage Director for OSB’s Young Artist Showcase, At the Statue of Venus by Jake Heggie, Brooklyn Snow, Soprano

 

Upcoming Opera: Emilia, Otello, Livermore Valley Opera; Marcellina, Le nozze di Figaro, Intermountain Opera

Carmen / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Allan Glassman

 

Turiddu / Cavalleria Rusticana

February 2008

 

Canio / Pagliacci

February 2008

 

Manrico / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Don José / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Linda Brovsky

 

Stage Director / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Michael Stevens

Brian Hotchkin

Brian Hotchkin is a baritone, vocal instructor, stage director and arts administrator based in Santa Barbara, CA.

Prior to his career in arts administration, Brian performed opera and music theater with companies including Virginia Opera, Opera New Jersey, Opera Santa Barbara, Chamber Opera Chicago, and the Aspen Music Festival. Brian began his association with Opera Santa Barbara as a studio artist, singing Papageno in The Magic Flute. He went on to serve as Company Manager and Artistic Administrator for the company. He was chosen to participate in Opera America's Leadership Intensive.

Brian is an experienced voice teacher and vocal coach with a private studio in Santa Barbara. He is also an adjunct voice faculty member at Ventura College and prior to that, was on the voice faculty at Resound Northwest in Portland, OR. As a stage director, Brian has led productions of Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza and Sweeney Todd for Ventura College.

Brian holds degrees from DePaul University and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Deborah Bertling

 

Sister Genovieffa / Suor Angelica

April 2016

 

Nella / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Reporter /
Séance on a Wet Afternoon

September 2009

 

Olga / The Merry Widow

March 2009

 

Queen of the Night /
Magic Flute for Families

October 2008

 

Sandman & Dew Fairy /
Hansel and Gretel
for Families

October 2007

 

Elvira /L'italiana in Algeri

March 2005

 

Kate Pinkerton / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Michael Katz

Utah Opera

Thorsteinn Arbjörnsson

Yefim Maizel

Simon Lee

Sara Campbell

Daniel Sutin

Greg Baber

Peter Frisch

James Marvel

Anna Vikre

Richard Crawley

Fabiana Bravo

Franco Colavecchio

Todd Jared

Matthew Treviño

John Sauvey

Nikolaus Schiffmann

Tihana Herceg

 

Lola / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999

 

Hansel / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994

 

Prince Orlofsky / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Hanan Alattar

Michael Corvino

Stephanie Sundine

 

Stage Director / La traviata

December 2000

Mark Johnson

Roger Cantrell

Teresa Brown

 

Suzuki / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Sarah Viola

Erika Bucholz

David Small

Kanga LaVrado

Gina Bellino

Joan Maria Tornes

 

Adele / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Julianne Tillinghast

Nichole Dechaine

Krista Wigel

Oksana Krovytska

Daniel Wachs

Carol Lucas

Andre Schillo

Julia Kermott

Ken Smithfield

Andreas Beckett

Michael Gallup

Ronald Li-Paz

Todd Thomas

 

Sir John Falstaff / Falstaff

March 2014

 

Scarpia / Tosca

February 2006 (debut)

Amy Johnson

 

Floria Tosca / Tosca

September 1997 (debut)

William Stone

Robert MacNeil

Olga Chernisheva

Jane Ohmes

Jane Hahn

 

Tisbe / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Christina Ikeda

Charlene Chi

Julia Frenkel

Saundra de Athos

Jessica Rivera

 

Frasquita / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Ryan Kuster

Sarah Chrisman

Sarah Schlinger Chrisman co-founded a Silicon Valley telecommunications company in the early 1980s
with Roger Chrisman who later became her husband. She served as CFO and Treasurer until her
retirement. The company went public in 1985 and has been listed on the NYSE since 1987.

She grew up in Pasadena and holds degrees in Computer Science and Music from Stanford University
and an MBA in Finance from UC Berkeley.

In addition to her position on the Opera Santa Barbara Board of Directors, Sarah is the current President
of the Board of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts which owns and operates the Granada
and sits on the Opera Santa Barbara board. She is the Chief Financial Officer of the Warren and
Katharine Schlinger Foundation and trustee of the Schlinger Chrisman Foundation.

Roger and Sarah moved to Santa Barbara with their daughter in 1999.

Evan Hughes

Shon Sims

Joshua Winograde

Neal Harrelson

Ricardo Herrera

Ryan Taylor

John Osborn

Linda Pavelka

Joseph Bascetta

Shu-Ying Li

Susan Foster

Robin Follman

Carlo Scibelli

 

Ernesto / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

The Duke of Mantua / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Alfredo Germont / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Chuck Hudson

Cal Stewart Kellogg

Christopher Carroll

Alexia Tillinghast-Trickett

Amanda Ryvkin

J. Raymond Meyers

 

Rémendado / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Cindy Sadler

Cynthia Thurber

Karen Vuong

Nova Safo

Patryk Wroblewski

Bojan Knezevic

Jonathan Boyd

Fenlon Lamb

 

Director / Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Dorabella / Così fan tutte

March 2004 (debut)

Renée Sousa

 

Donna Elvira / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Ray Hornblower

 

Don Ottavio / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Steven C. Kemp

Steven C. Kemp is a set designer for opera, theatre and events. Originally from Houston, Texas, he received his MFA from UC San Diego. He has designed for 30 opera companies and over 50 productions in NYC as well as for a multitude of regional theatres, cruise ships and international tours.

His design for Candide at Des Moines Metro Opera was recently nominated for the 2021 Golden Trezzini Awards for Architecture and Design.

For Opera San Jose his 20 designs include the acclaimed production of Idomeneo presented by the Packard Humanities Institute as well as the West Coast Premieres of Anna Karenina, Silent Night and the American premiere of Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella.

His opera designs have been presented at: LA Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Arizona Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Des Moines Metro Opera, Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, New Orleans Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Omaha, Madison Opera, Kentucky Opera, Tulsa Opera, UrbanArias, Opera Grand Rapids, Merola Opera, Indiana University - Jacobs School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

His regional and international credits include designs at Pasadena Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Antaeus Theatre Company, Bucks County Playhouse, Royal George Theatre, ReVision Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, Hudson Stage Company, Gulfshore Playhouse, Catholic University of America.

He has designed multiple productions for Norwegian Cruise Line, and numerous tours such as Baby Shark Live!, PJ Masks Live! Time to Be a Hero, Time to Save the Day, Dixie’s Tupperware Party and Ain’t Misbehavin’.

Steven also worked extensively as an Associate Designer for Robert Brill and David Gallo on Broadway, national tours, The Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Disney Theatricals, Dreamworks, and a multitude of other regional theatres and companies.

Additional work has included Associate Design credits for Jesse Poleshuck, Walt Spangler, Christopher Acebo, and Assistant Design for Alexander Dodge and exhibit design at Gallagher & Associates and Jack Morton Worldwide.

His opera design for Falstaff was selected as a finalist in the World Stage Design 2017 exhibit in Taipei, Taiwan.

His work was featured in the USA exhibit in the 2007 Prague Quadrennial and he was the 2008 USITT Rose Brand Scenic Design award winner.

Steven has presented lectures at many universities and was the 2013 Live Design Broadway Master Class speaker for associate set design. He specializes in 3D rendering, animation and previsualization.

Scenic Designer /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015

 

Scenic Designer / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Scenic Designer / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Diana Cantrelle

 

Mother /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Cynthia Clayton

 

Mimì / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996 (debut)

Raymond McLeod

 

Commendatore / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Alayne Faraone

 

Zerlina / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Gabriel Vamvulescu

 

The Sacristan / Tosca

November 2013

 

Colline / La bohème

November 2011

 

Doctor Grenvil / La traviata

March 2011 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2011

Gabriel Manrox

Michael Krzankowski

 

Malatesta /Don Pasquale

April 2013

 

Baron Douphol / La traviata

March 2011 (debut)

 

2011 Studio Artist

Lawrence Edelson

Daniel Montenegro

A graduate of San Francisco’s prestigious Adler Fellow Opera Program, American tenor Daniel Montenegro is recognized for his flexible and distinctive voice and a varied repertoire of bel canto, verismo, and contemporary roles.

In 2015, Daniel made his Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and San Diego Opera debuts as Luis (a role he created) in El Pasado Nuca se Termina. Recent seasons include Giovanni (La Hija de Rappaccini) with Gotham Opera and his European opera debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet as Mario in Daniel Catán’s Il Postino along side Plácido Domingo, as well as a number of significant role and company debuts including Roderigo (Otello) with San Francisco Opera under Nicola Luisotti, Alfredo (La Traviata) with New Orleans Opera and Minnesota Opera, Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) with Washington National Opera, Pang (Turandot) at the Hollywood Bowl conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, Pong (Turandot) with San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette with Tulsa Opera and the Castleton Festival, and most recently, Mario in Il Postino with Opera Saratoga, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Arizona Opera, and Rafael in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna in his debut with Fort Worth Opera. The 2017-2018 season included a concert of excerpts from La bohème with the Quad City Symphony, Rafael in Cruzar la Cara de la Luna in his debut with both New York City Opera and Houston Grand Opera, and his San Diego opera debut as Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas. The 2018-2019 season and beyond sees him as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera Columbus, Alfredo in La Traviata with Arizona Opera, Luis in El Pasado Nuca se Termina with Fort Worth Opera, and making a return to San Francisco Opera.

Daniel features on ‘Great Voices Sing John Denver’ alongside Plácido Domingo and many other key operatic names; produced by legendary arranger and music producer Milt Okun, the disc was released on the MRI Associated label in June 2013.

Sara Gartland

Maya Lahyani

Ao Li

Brent Wilson

 

Conductor / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

 

Assistant Conductor & Chorus Master

2011–2015

Josh Epstein

 

Lighting Designer / Tosca

November 2013

 

Lighting Designer /
Don Pasquale

April 2013

 

Lighting Designer /
La Serva Padrona
& Trouble in Tahiti

April 2011 (debut)

Martin T. Lopez

Christopher Maravich

 

Lighting Designer / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Erik Flatmo

Elizabeth Poindexter

Igor Viera

Andrew Park

Steve Grabe

Utah Opera

Michael Hayes

Jane Shaulis

Bray Wilkins

Kelsey Lee Smith

Aaron Refvem

Benjamin Brecher

Benjamin Brecher, tenor, has performed over fifty operatic roles and sung with over fifty symphonies throughout the world. He has performed over ten roles with The New York City Opera beginning in 1997, specializing in the bel canto opera repertoire. Other performances include: Santa Fe Opera, Opera de Montreal, Opera de Nice, and Glimmerglass Opera, among others. On the concert stage, he has sung with the orchestras of Chicago, Chautauqua, Mexico City, Rome, Seattle, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Budapest, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Toronto Symphony Milwaukee, and the National Symphony at Kennedy Center to mention a few. 2015-2016 will bring: Beethoven’s Ninth in Santa Rosa, Carmina Burana with Florida Symphony, Holiday ‘Pops’ concerts with The Jacksonville Symphony, along with the role of Gerald in Lakmé in Fresno and the world Premiere performances of Shot! A World Changed, an opera about the assassination of President McKinley in Buffalo. Also in 2015 his tenth commercial CD will be released, “Forgotten Liszt”, with Robert Koenig, pianist. The recording will include five world premiere recordings of lost Liszt songs and other of his rare works along a tour of recitals in Fresno, Modesto, Long Beach, and in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen Scotland. Professor Brecher is an Associate Professor at UCSB.

Michael Marcotte

Caroline Worra

Gabriel Manro

Edyta Kulczak

 

Rosina / The Barber of Seville

May 2001 (debut)

Emil Cristescu

 

Doctor Bartolo / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Doctor Grenville / La traviata

December 2000

 

Prince Yamadori / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Don Alfonso / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

The Sacristan / Tosca

September 1997

 

Leporello / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Alcindoro / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Moralès / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Aram Barsamian

 

Dancaïro / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Doctor Malatesta / Don Pasquale

February 1998 (debut)

Kristin Noelle Anderson

Bradley Garvin

Todd Robinson

Shana Blake Hill

James Anest

 

Zuniga / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Marullo / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Schaunard / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Zuniga / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Mel Ulrich

Nina Yoshida Nelsen

In the 2019-2020 season Nina Yoshida Nelsen made her Portland Opera debut as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She also performed the world premiere of Blood Moon at Prototype Festival in New York City. Nina returned to Chicago Lyric Opera to cover Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and will return to the Santa Barbara Symphony to perform Beethoven's Mass in C. and sings the role of Fricka in Santa Barbara Opera’s Das Rheingold. She also reprised the role of Khanh in Huang Ruo's opera Bound at Juilliard. In October 2021 she makes a delayed debut with Boston Lyric Opera as Suzuki and a debut with Chicago Opera Theater in December, in a new work Becoming Santa Claus and a debut in March 2022 with Kentucky Opera in An American Dream.

In the 2018-2019 season, Nina made her Lyric Opera Chicago debut as Mama in Jack Perla's An American Dream.  She also reprised the same role at Anchorage Opera. Nina returned to Opera Santa Barbara as Tituba in The Crucible and sang in their 25th Anniversary Gala concert.  

In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Nelsen returned to Seattle Opera singing the role of Mama in An American Dream.  She also made a company debut with Manitoba Opera singing Suzuki in Madama Butterfly.  She performed Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer with the Grand Junction and Flagstaff Symphony Orchestras and returned to both the Santa Barbara and Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestras to perform the alto solos in Mozart's Requiem.

In the 2016-2017 season, Nina returned to the Santa Barbara Symphony as the Alto Soloist in Beethoven Symphony #9 and debuted with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra as the Mezzo Soloist in the Verdi Requiem. In the 2014-2015 season, Nina was thrilled to return to Utah Opera to perform Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She then made her debut singing the same role with The Atlanta Opera.  She also sang Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Southwest Florida Symphony. Nina made her Seattle Opera mainstage debut summer 2015 singing the role of Mama in the world premiere of An American Dream.
 
Previous seasons include Houston Grand Opera: Khanh in the world premiere of Huang Ruo's new opera Bound.   Opera Santa Barbara:  Secretary in Menotti's The Consul.   Verdi's Requiem with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Suzuki with Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice and Opera Santa Barbara.  Nashville Symphony Handel’s Messiah. The world premiere of Memory Stone, a chamber opera at Houston Grand Opera and Beethoven 9th at Carnegie Hall.

Sarasota Opera Suzuki in Madama Butterfly Avery Fisher Hall as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Mezzo Soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Santa Barbara Symphony. Beethoven’s Symphony #9 with the Santa Fe Concert Association, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at New York City Opera and at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Victoria Robertson

Christopher Hawks

Ken Ryals

 

Marquis d'Obigny / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Jonathan Beyer

Lucas Harbour

Matthew Peña

Mihoko Kinoshita

Steven Harrison

Heather Sterling

Heather Sterling is an accomplished makeup artist and hair stylist with a wide range of experience that includes work in theater, film, print, and fashion. She is a licensed cosmetologist and has a degree in fine art with an emphasis in psychology. Armed with an extensive knowledge of period makeup and hairstyles, Heather first designed for Opera Santa Barbara in 2006 for the company's performances of Tosca; since then her work has been seen in nearly forty OSB productions. She regularly designs for the Music Academy of the West's summer operas and she recently designed for the Granada Theatre's A Christmas Carol.

 

Hair & Makeup Designer / Tosca

February 2006 (debut)

Tracy Saliefendic

 

Santuzza / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999 (debut)

Joseph Meyers

 

Beppe / Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Michael Davidson

 

Alfio / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999 (debut)

 

Tonio / Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Vladimir Shcherbakov

 

Canio / Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Ian Campbell

 

Stage Director /
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci

October 1999 (debut)

Anthony Roth Costanzo

 

Cherubino / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Kelley Nassief

 

Countess Almaviva / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Dean Elzinga

 

Figaro / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

David Stoneman

 

Alidoro / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Silvio / Pagliacci

October 1999

 

Sharpless / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Carol Ann Manzi

 

Violetta Valéry / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Joshua Schneyer

 

Fiorello / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

Roberto Perlas Gomez

 

Figaro / The Barber of Seville

May 2001 (debut)

Hector Vasquez

 

Escamillo / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Count di Luna / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Marcello / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996 (debut)

Ross Neill

 

Don José / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Justin Plank

 

Moralès / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Erik Sparks

William Gorton

Christina Bouras

Adina Aaron

David Britton

Daniel Cory

Andrew Eisenmann

 

Doctor Falke / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

Daniel Ebbers

 

Eisenstein / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

Irina Mishura

 

Azucena / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Carmen / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Ventura Limoncello Company

The Ventura Limoncello Company was founded in 2007 by James Carling and Manuela Zaretti-Carling. With the mission to the be premier producer of Limoncello liqueurs in the United States, the company uses the recipe handed down to Manuela from her Nonna in Italy. Ventura County is home to some of the most amazing lemons in the world and their peels make a world class Limoncello. Due to the year round lemon growing season, Ventura Limoncello Company produce Ventura Limoncello in small batches all year, working directly with local Ventura County growers who pick tree-ripened lemons. Ventura Limoncello's liqueurs are all natural and handcrafted. Peeling the fruit by hand ensures only the top layer of peel containing the oils are used without any pith. These natural processes produce aromatic and full flavored liqueurs. Ventura Limoncello Originale was released in February, 2008. Awarded the Gold Medal at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Ventura Limoncello Originale has been America's highest rated Limoncello 3-years in a row. Ventura Limoncello Crema was released in October, 2008 and was awarded Gold Medal at the 2010 LA SIP Awards.

 

Brad Dalton

 

Director / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Director / La bohème

November 2011 (debut)

Yannis Adoniou

Rhoslyn Jones

Christopher Bengochea

 

Mario Cavaradossi / Tosca

November 2013

 

Rodolfo / La bohème

November 2011 (debut)

Jason Detwiler

Jan Cornelius

Bodo Igesz

 

Stage Director / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Stage Director / The Barber of Seville

May 2001

 

Stage Director / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000

 

Stage Director / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Stage Director / Don Pasquale

February 1998

 

Stage Director / Tosca

September 1997

 

Stage Director / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Stage Director / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Stage Director / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Marcus DeLoach

 

Count Almaviva / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000 (debut)

Shannon Coulter

 

Susanna / Le nozze di Figaro

Jan/Feb 2000

 

Adele / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Despina / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

Deborah Mayhan

 

Clorinda / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Douglas Nagel

 

Don Magnifico / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Scott Hendricks

 

Dandini / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Christine Abraham

 

Angelina / La Cenerentola

Mar/Apr 2000 (debut)

Brad Keating

 

Giorgio Germont / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Gabriel Reoyo-Pazos

 

Alfredo Germont / La traviata

December 2000

 

Turridu / Cavalleria Rusticana

October 1999

 

Alfred / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

Ricardo Pereira

 

Gastone / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Frederic Griesinger

 

Baron Douphol / La traviata

December 2000

 

The Bonze / Madama Butterfly

May 1999

 

Ferrando / Il trovatore

January 1999

 

Monterone / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Colline / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Dancaïro / Carmen

August 1996

 

King Melchior /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

 

Baron Douphol / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Emile Fath

 

Rigoletto / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Giorgio Germont / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Elaine Arnett

Paul Polivnick

 

Conductor / Rigoletto

March 1997 (debut)

Randolph Locke

 

Mario Cavaradossi / Tosca

September 1997 (debut)

Irving Edgerton

Michael Grossmann

Jane Dutton

 

Dorabella / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

Tony Miratti

 

Frosch / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

Rosemary Wagner-Scott

 

Rosalinde / The Merry Widow

December 1998 (debut)

William Christensen

Dauri Dennedy

Lori Phillips

 

Leonora / Il trovatore

January 1999 (debut)

Arthur Allen Seidelman

 

Stage Director / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Shieh-Yih Lim

 

Goro / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Greg Fedderly

 

Lt. Pinkerton / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

Guiping Deng

 

Cio-Cio-San / Madama Butterfly

May 1999 (debut)

The Tent Merchant

The Tent Merchant is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of John and Sherine Leenhouwers. A full-service event rental company, the Tent Merchant provides much more than just standard tables, chairs, and linens. The Tent Merchant specializes in authentic tents and accessories from India and Morocco, and continues to provide its clients with special and unique experiences that will transport any event from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Via Maestra

Vespa Thousand Oaks

Located in the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall, Vespa Thousand Oaks is a full service Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi dealer. This family owned and operated store provides customers with everything they need for an enjoyable riding experience.

Britt Jewett- Studio 7

Noted Santa Barbara architect Britt Jewett is the owner of Studio 7 Architecture and Allied Arts.  In addition to his busy private client portfolio, Britt served as the lead architect for for the Restoration of the Santa Barbara Courthouse's Hall of Records and has provided innovative art installation set pieces for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for the past six years.

Palmina Winery

Founded by winemaker Steve Clifton in 1995, and run by he and his wife Chrystal since 2000, Palmina produces a full range of wines crafted from Italian varietals grown in Santa Barbara County, California. Rather than emulating the Italian versions of those grapes, Palmina interprets the styles to growing conditions and vineyard sites with the unique characteristics found in Santa Barbara County. The wines are Italian by tradition and modern by design, and all are designed to be an "extension of the plate."

Tammy Coil

Jessica Medoff & Michael Bunchman

Husband and wife Michael Bunchman and Jessica Medoff are fast becoming one of the country's finest musical duos bridging the gap and blurring the lines between classical, music theater, art song and popular music.  As co-creators of three original cabarets, the pair has delighted audiences coast to coast with their unique blend of genres and their undeniable musical chemistry. Both classically trained, the couple met while studying music at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

First Place Winner of the 2010 Shreveport Singer of the Year competition, Jessica defines the Renaissance woman in music throughout all genres; Critic Jon Sobel says "Jessica Medoff is perfectly spectacular - If she doesn't have a fan club, someone should start one."  In addition to singing leading roles in Don Giovanni, La Bohème, Suor Angelica, Carmen, The Merry Widow, and the soprano solos in Verdi's Requiem, she has performed impressive turns in more adventurous repertoire including Judith in Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle and the Governess in Britten's Turn of the Screw. On the musical theater stage she has been seen as Maria in The Sound of Music, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Nancy in Oliver! and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.

Highlights of Michael's solo career include performances with the Ridgefield Symphony, the Antara Ensemble of New York City, the Aspen Music Festival chamber series, and the Breckenridge Music Festival.  In addition to his solo career, Michael is an avid collaborator and is currently recording a disc of French mélodies with Metropolitan Opera flutist Harold Jones.

As a pair, Jessica and Michael continue to impress audiences throughout the United States with their style, charm and commitment to text and music. Says Jon Sobel, "One remarkable thing about [the duo] is the two performers' seamless connection; it's as if they can read each others' minds, piano and voice flowing together in perfect sympathy. This makes just about any song they perform something more than the sum of its parts."

Marnie Breckenridge

Kelly Robinson

 

Director / Don Giovanni

November 2015

 

Director / Le nozze di Figaro

March 2012 (debut)

Evgenia Chaverdova

Dean Williamson

Brandon Cedel

Kristin Noelle Anderson

 

Mercédès / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002

 

Flora Bervoix / La traviata

December 2000 (debut)

Celeste Tavera

 

Gilda / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Frasquita / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Clifton Romig

 

Sparafucile / Rigoletto

March 1997 (debut)

Carlos Aguirre

 

Spoletta / Tosca

September 1997 (debut)

Juan Sanchez Lozano

 

Cesare Angelotti / Tosca

September 1997

 

Doctor Grenville / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Julia Kierstine

 

Fiordiligi / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

Matthew Carey

 

Guglielmo / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

John Bellemer

 

Ferrando / Così fan tutte

January 1998 (debut)

Carmen Or

 

Stage Director / Così fan tutte

January 1998

 

Director / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Christopher Story VI

Sujung Kim

 

Norina / Don Pasquale

February 1998 (debut)

Tatyana Rashkovsky

 

Prince Orlofsky / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Maddelena / Rigoletto

March 1997 (debut)

Donald Sherrill

 

Frank / The Merry Widow

December 1998

 

Don Pasquale / Don Pasquale

February 1998 (debut)

Mignonne Profant

 

Annina / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Frances Ginsberg

 

Donna Anna / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Violetta Valéry / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Fabrizio Melano

 

Stage Director / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Nan Maro Babakhanian

 

Flora Bervoix / La traviata

July 1995

 

The Witch / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Nathan Rundlett

 

Benôit / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Eisenstein / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

 

Opera Santa Barbara Co-founder

1993

Marilyn Gilbert

 

Rosalinde / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

 

Opera Santa Barbara Co-founder

1993

Elisabeth Anderson

 

Adele / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Sterling Branton

 

Alfred / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Camilla Kolchinsky

 

Conductor / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Laezer Schlomkowitz

 

Director / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Naomi Isabel Ruiz

Guatemalan-American soprano Naomi Isabel Ruiz is rapidly gaining recognition for her "energetic stage presence" and her "beautiful, Italianate timbre."  As a Resident Artist at Minnesota Opera, Ms. Ruiz performed many roles, including Musetta in La bohème, Barbara in Casanova's Homecoming, Ines in Il trovatore, Rosaura in the American premiere of Johnathan Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio, Berta in The Barber of Seville and covered Marguerite in Faust, the Blue Fairy in The Adventures of Pinocchio and Leïla in The Pearl Fishers.  Ms. Ruiz has participated as a James Collier Apprentice Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera where she sang the role of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi.  Additional roles include Mimì in La bohème with the Janiec Opera Company, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Antonia in William Bolcom's A Wedding. Ms. Ruiz recently earned Third Prize in the 2010 Opera New Hampshire Competition, won First Place in the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition, and was a Semi-Finalist in both the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competitions. Her concert repertoire includes Faure's Requiem, Handel's Messiah and Dixit Dominus, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Ms. Ruiz holds both a Master of Music and Performer Diploma from Indiana University. Upcoming enagaments include Liù (cover) in Turandot for the Toledo Opera.

~ OSB Debut
* 2011|2012 Studio Artist

 

Herb Kendall**

Herbert J. Kendall is a retired builder and community developer from Princeton, N.J. For over forty years he concentrated on environmentally sound projects. His most notable is Twin Rivers in New Jersey. This PUD consisting of 3,000 families included 200 acres of office, industrial and recreational use.

Mr. Kendall’s community affiliations included Development Chair and Board Vice Chair of the Princeton Day Schools, which he built in 1965. His affiliations in California began with the development of South Coast Repertory Theatre, which is the leading regional theatre in Southern California. He continued by establishing and serving as President of the Santa Monica Arts Commission from 1983 – 1993.

In Santa Barbara, Mr. Kendall was a member of the SB Museum of Art and was partly responsible for the design and construction of its addition. He has been a member of the CAMA board for several years and served as its president from 2000 – 2003. He has also been a member of the boards of Casa Dorinda Board and the State Street Ballet. In 2003, Mr. Kendall and his wife Elaine created the Victoria Hall Theatre where they produced several plays, some of which were written by Elaine.

Mr. Kendall’s latest interests include the Bren School at UCSB and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He has recently relocated to Birnum Wood where he has begun a new challenge: playing golf, where he is the oldest pupil.

Angela Cadelago

Steven LaBrie

Ramón Tebar

Born in Valencia (Spain) and recently appointed Music Director of Florida Grand Opera (Miami, US), Ramón Tebar becomes the first Spanish conductor to lead a major American Opera Company. He also serves as Music Director of the Palm Beach Symphony. Since his arrival in the US, he has been part of the music staff of the Palm Beach and Cincinnati Operas, working on more than 30 opera productions while maintaining a full schedule in Europe. Maestro Tebar's upcoming season includes Renata Scotto's productions of La bohème, La traviata, and La sonnambula at Florida Grand Opera; Madama Butterfly at Cincinnati Opera, and Carmen at Opera Colorado [company debut]. He will also conduct concerts with the Palm Beach Symphony, San Antonio Symphony [debut], and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Santo Domingo (in concert with violinist Joshua Bell and soprano Maria Guleghina). Ramón Tebar began his conducting career at age fifteen, first as a pianist and then assistant conductor of the Youth National Orchestra of Spain. He has won many awards, including the Bärenreiter Prize, Medaille d´Honneur "Villa de Claira" (France) and an Award in the III International Conducting Competition "Luigi Mancinelli" (Italy). He was recently honored with the 2010 Henry C. Clark Conductor of the Year Award by Florida Grand Opera.

~ OSB Debut

José Luis Moscovich

Sandy Urquhart

Bella Musica

Bella Musica has performed in the Santa Barbara area for more than ten years. Comprised of Laura Hackstein, a classically trained violinist who performs with her Santa Barbara String Quartet, and Dick Prato, a professional accordionist who has studied with the finest Hollywood studio musicians, as well as guest artistson guitar, cello, mandolin, harp and string bass to meet any event's musical needs.  Bella Musica has performed events throughout the area, including the San Ysidro Ranch, the Bacara, Arnoldi's Cafe, Via Vai, Italian Festa, Gainey Winery, Biltmore Four Seasons, Santa Barbara Mission, Mount Carmel Church, The Montecito Country Club, and the Birnam Wood Golf Club.

Christopher Campbell

 

Rodolfo / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

King Kaspar /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Dyan McKinney

Gabriel Olvia

 

Amahl /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Elizabeth Waterbury

 

Conductor /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Robert Waterbury

 

Marquis d'Obigny / La traviata

July 1995 (debut)

Lynn Houghton

 

Mother / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Elissa Johnston

 

Sandman / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Lin White

 

Stage Director /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995

 

Stage Director / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Mark E. Childs

 

Masetto / Don Giovanni

January 1997

 

Doctor Falke / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Roland Rusinek

 

Doctor Blind / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Rodney Baker

Rodney Baker, a Santa Barbara native, worked at Cox Communications for 30 years from 1980 – 2010, ending as the Chief Engineer. Since his retirement in 2010, Mr. Baker has become the President and Director of Projects for the Santa Barbara Courthouse Docent Council. In this capacity, he has directed the restoration of the courthouse lamps, was project manager for the restoration of the Bisno-Schall Clock Gallery and assistant project manager for the restoration of the Spirit of the Ocean fountain. Mr. Baker has also supported numerous other local non-profit organizations including the United Way, Pearl Chase Society, Unity Shoppe and the Dream Foundation. He has also performed as a supernumerary in several Opera SB productions and has performed in several productions at the Circle Bar B.

The Santa Barbara Children's Chorus

Erhard Rom

Jesse Merlin

Alan August

 

Spoletta / Tosca

September 1997

 

Borsa / Rigoletto

March 1997

 

Rémendado / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Vivian Vega-Rangel

 

Mercédès / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Eduardo Chama

 

Escamillo / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Claudine Côté

 

Micaëla / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Reveka Mavrovitis

 

Carmen / Carmen

August 1996 (debut)

Scott Reed

 

Page /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Michael Paul Smith

 

King Balthazar /
Amahl and the Night Visitors

December 1995 (debut)

Paul Stephenson

 

Father / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Lesley Leighton

 

Dew Fairy / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Patricia Prunty

 

Musetta / La bohème

Nov/Dec 1996

 

Gretel / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Theodore Plute

 

Conductor / Hansel and Gretel

October 1994 (debut)

Jim Herman

 

Frosch / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Timothy A. Schmidt

 

Frank / Die Fledermaus

December 1993 (debut)

Society Jazz

Society Jazz is a quartet that captures the sophisticated sounds of mid-century jazz featuring the great standards from the 20's through the 50's with a particular nod to the great male crooners of this time, from Frank Sinatra to Johnny Hartman. The group is comprised of four fine Santa Barbara based jazz musicians; Kevin Fox on piano/keyboard, Ruben Martinez on bass with brother Rene Martinez on drums and Glenn Novack on vocals.

 

 

 

Alexey S

 

Lucas Benjaminh Krech

Casey Candebat

 

Harold Mitchell /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Micaëla Oeste

 

Stella Kowalski /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

 

Young Artist

2008

Krassen K

 

Joshua Kohl

 

Fenton / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Ken Yunker

Ernest Alvarez

Darla Mattern

Darla Mattern graduated from the Eastman School of Music in May of 2006 with her Master of Music Degree in Performance and Literature.  Her roles include First Lady in Mozart's Magic Flute, Georgette in Puccini's La rondine, Hannah in Léhar's Merry Widow and Aunt Julia in Robert Ward's Claudia Legere. Most recently she has been seen as a Reporter in Opera Santa Barbara's World Premiere production of Stephen Schwartz's Séance on a Wet Afternoon. In 2009, Ms. Mattern was an Opera Santa Barbara Young Artist and a Music Academy of the West Fellow. She holds her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California, and currently studies with contralto Victoria Hart. Ms. Mattern was both an Em Green Vocal Scholarship Winner and a three-time recipient of the Sheila Allen Vocal Scholarship from the Young Musicians Foundation. Most recently she was a Finalist in the Los Angeles District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

~ Previous OSB: 2009 Young Artist, Reporter|Séance on a Wet Afternoon ['09]
* 2011|2012 Studio Artist

 

Todd Strange

Megan Beltran

Ray Chenez

Ray Chenez is an American countertenor, specializing in baroque and contemporary repertoire.  Recent concert highlights include Bach cantatas 62, 133, and 153 at SUNY Fredonia as a guest artist, and Messiah in Buffalo, NY.  Operatic highlights include the role of Arsamene in Handel's Serse, and Oberon in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Florida State Opera.  He has won Second and Fourth prize in the Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition, in 2011 and 2010 respectively.  In 2008, Ray Chenez appeared as a soloist with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay in Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Missa Brevis.  He won Third Place in the Orpheus Vocal Competition in Murfreesboro, TN, and Third Place in the Suncoast Opera Guild Competition in St. Petersberg, FL. Other notable solo appearances include the role of the Israelitish Man in Handel's Judas Maccabaeus under the baton of André Thomas, Purcell's Dioclesian at the Amherst Early Music Festival, and the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.  He has sung with Seraphic Fire, Miami's professional chamber choir. Ray Chenez holds a Doctor of Music degree in vocal performance from Florida State University, where he also holds a Master of Arts Degree.  He received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from SUNY Fredonia.  His teachers include Wanda Brister, Michael Dean, Roy Delp, and Delia Wallis.

~ OSB Debut
* 2011|2012 Studio Artist

 

Keith Colclough

 

Count Ceprano / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Sciarrone & Jailer / Tosca

November 2013

 

Sergeant / La bohème

November 2011 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2011-2012

Rebecca Nathanson

 

Nanetta / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2011

Jinyoung Jang

Susan Benson

Stuart Kart

Stuart Kart has been a licensed certified public accountant for fifty years, and is the founding partner of Kart, Altman & Abbamonte CPAs in Sherman Oaks, CA. He specializes in estates and trusts, and is a past president of the 30,000 member California Society of CPAs. He has also served as a member of the governing council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Born in Chicago and a veteran of four years service in the US Navy, Mr. Kart is a former long distance runner, having completed two marathons. He and his wife Sandi currently reside in Oxnard, CA, have two daughters and four grandchildren, and together enjoy participating in the performing arts in Ventura and Santa Barbara County.

Francesca Z

Adam Meza

Catherine M

Benjamin Robinson

Michelle J

Sara Jobin

Alexey Sayapin

Krassen Karagiozov

Nino Sanikidze

Georgian pianist Nino Sanikidze has held the position of a Head Coach for the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera since the Programs’ inaugural 2006-07 season. She is the winner of several awards including the Marilyn Horne Foundation award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying. Nino Sanikidze received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and is an alumna of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera.

Colin Ramsey

Bass-Baritone Colin Ramsey has been lauded for his “majestic, rotund, ravishing bass” (Opera Today). During the 20-21 season, Mr. Ramsey joined San Diego Opera as Colline in La bohème, as well as returning to Pacific Opera Project as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, and the Festival Lyrique en Mar as Leporello in Don Giovanni (COVID19). Other recent engagements include returns to Opera Santa Barbara as Frère Laurent in Romèo et Juliette and the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, joining the Festival Lyrique en Mar as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor and the bass soloist in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, and multiple productions of La bohème as Colline including Opera Idaho, Gulfshore Opera, and Opera Buffs Inc in Los Angeles. In upcoming seasons, Mr. Ramsey will return to Opera Santa Barbara as Fafner in Jonathan Dove’s arrangement of Das Rheingold, and San Diego Opera, singing The Speaker and 2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte (COVID19), Capulet in Romèo et Juliette, and Betto in Gianni Schicchi.

 

His 2018-19 season was an exciting one including a return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for performances of John Cage’s Europeras directed by Yuval Sharon. Mr. Ramsey also made his San Diego Opera debut as Marullo in Rigoletto and in the spring of 2019, Mr. Ramsey returned to Opera Santa Barbara for an exciting and timely production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible singing the role of Reverend Hale.

 

Other recent performances have seen him in role and company debuts singing Le Comte des Grieux in Manon, The Speaker in Die Zauberflöte, and his Santa Fe Opera debut singing the Registrar in Madama Butterfly and covering Edward Teller in John Adam’s Dr. Atomic in a landmark production directed by Peter Sellars. Mr. Ramsey’s unique “smoky” timbre has been well lent to additional roles such as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Father Palmer in Silent Night, Alidoro in Rossini’s La CenerentolaCollatinus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Seneca in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Mr. Kofner in Menotti’s The Consul, Il Frate in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Angelotti in Tosca, and Cadmus and Somnus in Handel’s Semele.

Valentina Fleer

Russian-American soprano Valentina Fleer has been drawing continuous attention for her "golden voice," praised for its "shimmering clarity" and "sweetness and power." This May she will sing Musetta in La bohème at the Los Angeles Opera, where she debuted last year as Barbarina in The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by Plácido Domingo.  Originally from Moscow, Valentina grew up in New York City, where she studied at Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music. She has participated in prestigious artist development programs including San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program, where she sang Adina in The Elixir of Love; Glimmerglass Opera's Young American Artists Program; and Los Angeles Opera's Domingo-Thorton Young Artist Program, where she is currently in her second year.  Recent engagements include Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Lake George Opera, and concert engagements at Carnegie Hall and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Later this season, Valentina will tour with the Munich Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist for Mozart's Requiem. In her burgeoning career, she has had the privilege of working with industry greats including Plácido Domingo, James Conlon, William Bolcom, Warren Jones, and Sir Jonathan Miller.  Valentina has been awarded by the prestigious Richard Tucker Music Foundation and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Kate Allen

A native of Ireland, mezzo-soprano Kate Allen will be recognized by local audiences for her performance of Baba the Turk in Music Academy of the West's production of The Rake's Progress.  This coming season, she will debut with Camerata Pacifica in a program that includes Dvorák's Gypsy Songs. Her repertoire includes the title role in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites. She recently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Conservatory Project Performances, representing the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and took part in the Lieder Alive! masterclass seminar with renowned baritone Håkan Hagegård. She holds degrees from the Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with César Ulloa. She was a 2011 First Prize Winner in the San Francisco district Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

~ OSB Debut
* 2012|2013 Studio Artist

 

John David Boehr

Andrew Firestone

Andrew Firestone is an American TV reality show personality. He is the son of Brooks Firestone, a grandson of Leonard Firestone, and a great-grandson of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company founder Harvey Firestone and Idabelle Smith. Andrew is marreid to actress/model Ivana Bozilovic and they have two children, son Adam Brooks and daughter Anja Jasmine.

Alexandra Loutsion

 

Foreign Woman / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2012

Keturah Stickann

Francesco Milioto

 

Conductor / Falstaff

March 2014

 

Conductor / Don Pasquale

April 2013 (debut)

Stacie Logue

 

Costume Designer /
Gallantry & Trouble in Tahiti

April 2018

 

Costume Designer / Noah's Flood

February 2018

 

Costume Designer / Brundibár

May 2017

 

Costume Designer /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Costume Designer / Don Pasquale

April 2013

 

Costume Manager

2004–present

Luis Ledesma

Opera News notes that in the role of the villainous Baron Scarpia, Luis Ledesma "commands the stage with his rich, well-controlled baritone. He is convincingly devious; when this Scarpia looks at his Tosca, he conquers the diva with his eyes." Born in Mexico City, and now a U.S. citizen, Ledesma has been lauded internationally for the power and refinement of both his vocal and theatrical gifts. A graduate of the resident program at Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts, Ledesma went on to win several major competitions, including the Pavarotti International Voice Competition and the Julian Gayarre Competition in Spain. He has performed leading roles with major companies around the world, including those in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Santiago, Dresden, Graz, Lisbon, Savonlinna, and at Milan's Teatro alla Scala. This season, Ledesma performs the title role in Verdi's Macbeth with Palm Beach Opera, Scarpia in Tosca with Atlanta Opera, and Marcello in La bohème with Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico.

~ OSB Debut

Hunter Enoch

 

Angelotti / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2013

Javier Abreu

 

Lindoro /
L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015

 

Ernesto / Don Pasquale

April 2013 (debut)

Jessica Julin

Originally from Danville, California, soprano Jessica Julin was a 2009 Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Auditions. In the same year, she completed her studies at the renowned Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia (AVA), where her roles included the title role in Vanessa, Agathe in Der Freischütz, and Freia in Das Rheingold. Jessica was a student of Costanza Cuccaro at Indiana University (where she was awarded a full scholarship); she did further training in the young artist programs of the Chautauqua Institution, Central City Opera and Utah Festival Opera. She has performed with New York City Opera and Gotham Chamber Opera and she recently traveled to Milan at the invitation of the Teatro alla Scala to study the roles of Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Amelia in Un ballo in Maschera. She currently makes her home in Annapolis, Maryland. In 2014, she takes on the title role in Puccini's Turandot with Shreveport Opera.

2013 Studio Artist

Zulimar López-Hernández

 

Norina / Don Pasquale

April 2013 (debut)

Reyna Carguill

Wally Coberg*

Susan Allred**

Elena Galván

Soprano Elena Galván is a native of Ithaca NY. Most recently, she was a 2012 Studio Artist at Opera Saratoga, covering the role of Grittly in Offenbach's Le 66. She has also studied at the Aspen Music Festival and School, covering the role of Nannetta (Falstaff).  Her repertoire includes Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Clarice (Il mondo della luna), Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Le Feu (L'Enfant et les sortilèges), Lucy (The Telephone), and The Fox in Rachel Portman's The Little Prince. Elena was the soprano soloist for Handel's Messiah with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and performed for Opera Krakowska in Poland.  Elena has been recognized by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (San Francisco District). Elena holds a degree from Ithaca College, where she studied with Patrice Pastore, and is completing her Master's Degree in Vocal Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), where she is a student of Catherine Cook.

~ OSB Debut
* 2012|2013 Studio Artist

Christina Poddubiuk

 

Scenic Designer / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

Christina Poddubiuk

Born in England, Christina grew up in Montreal and earned a degree in English Literature from McGill University before attending Canada's National Theatre School and applying her love of art and design to the stage. In her award-winning career, she has designed sets and costumes for more than a dozen of Shakespeare's plays at companies that include the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has designed musicals including Man of La Mancha, The Fantasticks, Carousel, and a Tony-nominated production of Jekyll and Hyde (for Broadway's Plymouth Theatre). Her work in opera includes Capriccio and Tosca with Pacific Opera Victoria, and Béatrice et Bénédict and Don Quichotte for the Canadian Opera Company. After much collaboration with both the Shaw Festival and the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, she has made the city her permanent home. In addition to her design work, she continues to study life drawing, anatomy, and portrait painting.

Philip Cokorinos

 

Don Pasquale /
Don Pasquale (debut)

April 2013

Kevin T

Eric Southern

Michael R

Marcy Stonikas

 

Donna Anna / Don Giovanni

November 2015

 

Floria Tosca / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

Virginia Opera/John Pascoe

Theo Lebow

Tenor Theo Lebow spent the 2012/2013 season as a Seattle Opera Young Artist, where he made his mainstage debut as the First Prisoner in Fidelio, and sang Edoardo in the YAP production of Un giorno di regno. Other recent performances include Count Belfiore in Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera with San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, Scientist in Menotti's The Last Savage with Santa Fe Opera, and Fenton in selections from Verdi's Falstaff at the Richard Tucker Foundation Gala. He has made recent debuts in both Weill Hall (singing selections from the Brahms LiebesliederWaltzer) and in Carnegie Hall (in Mendelssohn's Lobgesang). Recent accomplishments include an encouragement award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, semi-finalist placement in the Marcello Giordani Foundation, and regional finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions.

~ OSB Debut
* 2012|2013 Studio Artist

 

Eduardo del Campo

 

Don Giovanni / Don Giovanni

January 1997 (debut)

Lee Savage

Bibhu Mohapatra

Kevin Thompson

 

Commendatore / Don Giovanni

November 2015

 

Sparafucile / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Ramfis / Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Catherine Martin

 

Maddelena / Rigoletto

November 2014

 

Amneris / Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Ta'u Pupu'a

 

Radamès / Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Michelle Johnson

 

Aida / Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Michael Rau

Francesca Zambello

Eric Sean Fogel

Norman Garrett

 

Amonasro/ Aida

March 2013 (debut)

Gavin Roy

Passion for great music of all genres and his ability to seamlessly and creatively blend it all together to captivate just about any audience is what makes DJ Gavin Roy stand out as one of the most sought-after party rockers on the planet. Few DJs can creatively cut, scratch, mix, sample and blend music of any style or genre like DJ Gavin Roy. His skills have earned him much respect from fans and peers alike. He has competed and won DJ battles and has been named Best Club DJ by local publications several years in a row. His love for the art of DJing inspired him to launch the Santa Barbara DJ Academy, a school for aspiring music students. He also gives back to the community through music by spinning at charitable events for AIDS research, cancer awareness, child foster care programs, and projects for children and adults with disabilities.

Mixing it up is the key to any well-rounded DJ's repertoire. DJ Gavin Roy makes his audience fall in love with the dance floor by giving them exactly what they want - and surprising them with unexpected songs, samples, mashups and remixes. As an ever-evolving artist, he is steadily drawn to new ideas, styles and techniques of his peers. By creating Gavin Roy Presents, he has pooled local club DJs and bands into a highly-acclaimed talent agency and production company for exclusive private events.

DJ Gavin Roy's dedication to his art - producing mixtapes, supporting prominent causes, starting a DJ school and DJ talent agency, appearing on radio shows, chart reporting, video DJing, and more - reveals his drive to push even further. Expect more from DJ Gavin Roy as he follows his passion for music and delivers extraordinary performances to move you and your dancefloor.

Martin Moskovits

Martin Moskovits has degrees in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Toronto. He co-founded OHM Distributers and manufacturers Ltd., an electronics company in Toronto in 1966 which was sold in 1969. He returned to the University of Toronto to complete a PhD in chemical physics (1971). From 1971-73 he was employed as a materials scientist by Alcan Research and Development in Kingston Ontario. He returned to take up a faculty position in the department of chemistry at the University of Toronto. Promoted to professor in 1982, he was Chair of that department (1993-1999).

In 2000 he moved to Santa Barbara to serve as as Worster Dean of Science at UC Santa Barbara. From 2007-2010 he was Chief Technology Officer of API Technologies in NY; and from 2011-2012 Provost at the City College of New York. In 2008 he co-founded Spectra Fluidics, a company that combines SERS with microfluidics to develop high-sensitivity molecular sensing.

Moskovits is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow of the Optical Society of America; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; former member, and past Vice Chair of the US Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee 2001-2010. He was Guggenheim Fellow in 1987; 1993 Gerhard Herzberg Award of the Spectroscopy Society of Canada; 1993 Royal Society of Chemistry (London) award in Surface and Colloid Science; 1995 Johannes Marcus Marci Medal of the Czech Spectroscopy Society; 2008 NanoTech Briefs, Nano 50 Innovator award; 2010 Ellis Lippincott Award of the Optical Society of America.

Roger Davidson

Roger H. Davidson is Professor Emeritus of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Visiting Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1980 to 1988 he held the post of Senior Specialist in American National Government and Public Administration with the Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Fort Collins, CO, Dr. Davidson attended the University of Colorado and received his Ph.D from Columbia University. He began his teaching career at Dartmouth College, moving to the University of California, Santa Barbara (1968-1980), where he served as chairman of the political science department and associate dean of Letters and Science. He has been a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, American, and George Washington universities, and has lectured or conducted seminars on U.S. politics and policy making throughout this country and in Europe, South America, Africa, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and other South Pacific countries. In 2002 he was John Marshall Professor at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, awarded by the Hungarian Fulbright Commission. He was named Visiting Distinguished Political Scientist at Santa Barbara City College in 2005-2006. Dr. Davidson is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Dr. Davidson’s musical interests began early. In his youth he took piano lessons and sang in high school and university choirs. His passion for opera (and Broadway musicals) blossomed during his years in New York City as a graduate student at Columbia University—hearing legendary singers at the old (and new) Metropolitan Opera House. In Washington, DC, he subscribed to the Washington National Opera; he has attended many opera performances in the US and abroad.

Dr. Davidson is co-chair of the UCSB Affiliates, board member of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, and a docent for both the Architectural Foundation and the Santa Barbara Historical Society. He and his wife Nancy subscribe to and support OSB, Santa Barbara Symphony, Camerata Pacifica, UCSB’s Arts and Lectures series, and CAMA. They are members of the Council of Contributors of the Music Academy of the West and especially follow their vocal music program. Dr. Davidson serves on MAW’s Advancement Committee.

Adam Richardson

Baritone Adam Richardson, a native of Virginia, received his master of music degree from the Juilliard School in 2011. While there, he performed the roles of Betto in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Javelinot in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites. He was also a part of the inaugural Juilliard+Met collaboration production of Smetana's Bartered Bride conducted by James Levine. Most recently, he performed the roles of Jake/Porgy in Porgy and Bess and the Wolf in Barab's Little Red Riding Hood as part of the Cincinnati Opera's Resident Artist Touring Program. Mr. Richardson also holds a degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is an alumnus of training programs including the Brevard Music Festival and Opera North. He has been awarded by Harlem Opera Theatre, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and by the Lotte Lenya Competition.

~ OSB Debut
* 2012|2013 Studio Artist

Robert Watson

 

Nika Magadoff / The Consul

April 2014

 

Spoletta / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2013

Efraín Solís

The San Francisco Chronicle exclaims, “For theatrical charisma and musical bravado, it would be hard to top the performance of baritone Efraín Solís.” He is a recent graduate of the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship and while with the company, sang his first performances of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La cenerentola, Schaunard in La bohème, Silvano in Un ballo in maschera, Sciarrone in Tosca, and Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. In the 2020-21 season, he joins Opera San Jose and Florida Grand Opera as Charlie in Heggie’s Three Decembers and Utah Opera as Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen. Future engagements include Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera San Jose and a return to Opera Southwest, originally scheduled for this season. Last season, he returned to Utah Opera as Lieutenant Audebert in Puts’ Silent Night and Virginia Opera as Di Cosimo in Catán’s Il postino in joining the Cincinnati Song Initiative for a program of songs by Granados and Turina. His debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the Peasant in Schönberg’s Gurrelieder and return to the role of Schaunard in La bohème with Fort Worth Opera were unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

He joined Houston Grand Opera’s HGOCo, New York City Opera, and El Paso Opera as Mark in Martinez’s Cruzar la cara de la luna. Other recent performances for the baritone include Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Utah Opera, Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, and Toledo Opera; Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Memphis and Livermore Valley Opera; Slook in La cambiale di matrimonio with Nicholas McGegan conducting Philharmonia Baroque; El Payador in Piazzola’s Maria de Buenos Aires with Opera Southwest, Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande and Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox with West Edge Opera; Fiesque in Maria di Rohan with Washington Concert Opera, Gaspar in Rita with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and Dick in Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock with Opera Saratoga. He joined both Opera Delaware and Baltimore Concert Opera for concerts of opera favorites.

Mr. Solis sang his first performances of Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Palo Alto Philharmonic and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem as a guest artist at Concordia College. He joined the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra for Britten’s War Requiem and both Las Vegas Philharmonic and New Choral Society for Handel’s Messiah. An active recitalist, he has previous joined the New York Festival of Song for multiple programs of Spanish repertoire and has been presented in a Schwabacher Debut Recital in San Francisco and offered an additional recital program at the El Camino College Center for the Arts.

He is an alumnus of the prestigious Merola Opera Program in association with San Francisco Opera, at which he sang Junius in The Rape of Lucretia and covered Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. He is also a former member of Opera Santa Barbara’s Studio Artist Program. In 2013, he was a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and sang arias from Rodelinda and Le nozze di Figaro on the famed company’s stage with Marco Armilianto conducting. He was also a finalist in Houston Grand Opera's Eleanor McCollum Competition and the Loren L. Zachary Society for the Performing Arts National Vocal Competition. He holds a Master of Music from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, at which he sang Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and while at Chapman University, his performances included Beethoven’s Mass in C and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.

Jennifer Panara

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Panara's voice has been praised its "immense brilliance and versatility" (General-Anzeiger Bonn). An active performer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ms. Panara was recently praised for her "delightful and spirited" portrayal of Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette) with Livermore Valley Opera. Her repertoire includes the title role of Handel's Rinaldo, Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Angelina (Cenerentola), Orlofsky (Fledermaus), Mercédès (Carmen) and Public Opinion (Orpheus in the Underworld). She has performed with companies including Pocket Opera, Martinez Opera, and Capitol Opera Sacramento. She received critical acclaim abroad for her "flawless interpretation" of Wagner's Wesendonck-Lieder with the Philharmonischer Chor Bonn in Germany; she will return next season for a concert of works by Claude Debussy. Other upcoming engagements include Isolier in Rossini's Le Comte Ory, and Schumann's Frauenliebe und leben with pianist Elena Levina. Ms. Panara holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; she was an apprentice artist with Opera Saratoga and studied at CCM's summer training program in Spoleto, Italy. Ms. Panara is a 2012 Apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera.

* 2012-2013 Studio Artist
~ OSB Debut

Julie Adams

 

Anna Gomez / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2014

Gregory Gerbrandt

 

Stanley Kowalski /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Beverly O'Regan Thiele

 

Blanche DuBois /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

Christopher Allen

 

Conductor / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Stefano de Peppo

 

Gianni Schicchi /
Gianni Schicchi

April 2016

 

Mustafà /
L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

Eve Gigliotti

 

Isabella / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

Craig Kier

 

Conductor / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

Cody Austin

 

Duke of Mantua / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Evan Brummel

 

Rigoletto / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Andrea Carroll

 

Gilda / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

Luis Alejandro Orozco

An El Paso, Texas native, Mexican-American Baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco has been praised for his “voluminous baritone and beautiful legato.” He made his Opera Santa Barbara debut as Assan in The Consul in 2014; he returned as Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri in 2015 and as Belcore in The Elixir of Love in 2016. Luis began the 2017-2018 season with Mill City Summer Opera as El Payador in Maria de Buenos Aires, a role he has also performed with Florida Grand Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Aspen Music Festival, Anchorage Opera, Nashville Opera, New Orleans Opera and Fort Worth Opera. He also makes his debut with San Diego Opera as Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas, and returns to Anchorage Opera as Hannah Before in As One. Previous seasons have included performances of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Florentine Opera and Syracuse Opera, Escamillo in Carmen with Michigan Opera Theater, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette with Lyric Opera Baltimore, Opera Grand Rapids, and Austin Lyric Opera, Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas with Washington National Opera and Arizona Opera, Perichaud in La Rondine with Opera Theater of St. Louis, the title role in Don Giovanni with Opera Western Reserve, and Marcello in La bohème with Kentucky Opera. Overseas, Orozco has performed the role of Papageno in Mozart’s Magic Flute, with The Seoul International Opera Festival in South Korea, and the title role in Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino with the CCM Spoleto Festival. Orozco was a part of the Kennedy Center World Stages Festival in the premiere staged reading of Fallujah by composer Tobin Stokes in 2013.

 

Carla Jablonski

 

Vera Boronel / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

 

Studio Artist

2014

Kirk Eichelberger

 

Secret Police Agent / The Consul

April 2014

 

The Bonze / Madama Butterfly

October 2003 (debut)

Buffy Baggott

 

The Mother / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox is the Executive Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara. Since he assumed the post in 2006, he has directed many productions for the company, including Ghosts, Creditors, Buried Child, Take Me Out, Visiting Mr. Green, and most recently, The Liar and Crime and Punishment. He has worked abroad in Germany and Austria, directing A Streetcar Named Desire, Old Wicked Songs, Crimes of the Heart, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Prior to joining Ensemble, Jonathan helped establish New Jersey's Two River Theater Company, serving as Managing Director from 1994-'99 and Artistic Director from 1996-2006. During his tenure, he directed over a dozen acclaimed productions, including Peter Brook's adaptation of the opera Carmen. His production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was profiled in American Theatre Magazine, as was his festival of work by Samuel Beckett. His productions have been seen in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cologne, Frankfurt and Vienna, and have received critical acclaim from publications including The New York Times, Variety, and The LA Times. He received his MFA from Columbia University and is a recipient of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship for German studies. He has served as adjunct faculty at UCSB, Monmouth University in New Jersey, University of Utah, and Columbia University.

Joshua Jeremiah

 

John Sorel / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

Alexandra LoBianco

 

Magda Sorel / The Consul

April 2014 (debut)

Catherine Cook

 

Dame Quickly / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Lee Poulis

Lee Poulis is “virile and heroic in both appearance and vocalism” (Opera News) and has been praised for his “dark baritone, rich in color.” Twice named Best Young Singer by Die Welt, Mr. Poulis has performed at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden of Berlin, Teatro Real of Madrid, the Opera of Bilbao, and the Teatro Municipal of Santiago. He performed the title role in the national premieres of Doctor Atomic in Germany and at the Finnish National Opera. In the 2017-18 season, he appeared in Handel's Messiah with the Florida Orchestra, Carmina Burana with Long Beach Camerata, Bach's Mass in B Minor with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, and Cantata #82, "Ich habe genug" with the Jacksonville Symphony. Career highlights include Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de perles with Fort Worth Opera and Sarasota Opera, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Dayton Opera and the Belleayre Festival Opera, Marcello in La bohème with Toledo Opera and Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Valentin in Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore and Theater Chemnitz (Germany), the title role of Don Giovanni with Sarasota Opera, and Heathcliff in Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights with Minnesota Opera. He was a member of the ensemble at Theater Bonn, where he performed roles including Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Pantalon in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges, Germont in La traviata, Yeletsky in Pique Dame, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, and Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur. His frequent appearances at Washington National Opera include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La Cenerentola, and Senator Raitcliffe in the world premiere of Scott Wheeler’s Democracy. He has also been on the roster of San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He made his his Opera Santa Barbara debut as Ford in Falstaff in 2014. Mr. Poulis’ concert engagements include baritone soloist in Handel's Messiah, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and in the Mozart, Fauré, and Brahms Requiem settings with organizations such as the Masterworks Chorale, Kansas City Symphony, American Youth Symphony, Waltham Philharmonic, the Atlantic Union College and the Gemini Youth Orchestra. Mr. Poulis has also appeared in recital with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as well as in Washington D.C. with the Washington Vocal Arts Society. Lee Poulis won first prize in the 2008 Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition, the 2008 Francisco Viñas International Voice Competition, and the 2007 Chester Ludgin International Verdi Baritone Competition, as well as an Encouragement Award recipient in the 2008 George London Foundation Awards competition. He is an alumnus of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, and Music Academy of the West. Mr. Poulis is a graduate of Harvard University.

 

 

Melody Moore

 

Alice Ford / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

Ramón Tebar

Born in Valencia, Spain, and recently appointed Music Director of Florida Grand Opera, Ramón Tebar becomes the first Spanish conductor to lead a major American Opera Company. He also serves as Music Director of the Palm Beach Symphony. Since his arrival in the US, he has been part of the music staff of the Palm Beach and Cincinnati Operas, working on more than 30 opera productions while maintaining a full schedule in Europe. Maestro Tebar's upcoming season includes Renata Scotto's productions of La bohème, La traviata, and La sonnambula at Florida Grand Opera; Madama Butterfly at Cincinnati Opera, and Carmen at Opera Colorado (company debut). He will also conduct concerts with the Palm Beach Symphony, San Antonio Symphony (debut), and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Santo Domingo (alongside violinist Joshua Bell and soprano Maria Guleghina). Ramón Tebar began his conducting career at age fifteen, first as a pianist and then assistant conductor of the Youth National Orchestra of Spain. He has won many awards, including the Bärenreiter Prize, Medaille d´Honneur "Villa de Claira" (France) and an Award in the III International Conducting Competition "Luigi Mancinelli" (Italy). He was recently honored with the 2010 Henry C. Clark Conductor of the Year Award by Florida Grand Opera.

~ OSB Debut

Christopher Larkin

 

Conductor / Tosca

November 2013 (debut)

Francesca Patruno

As Patron Services Associate, Francesca Patruno works to provide the best possible service to the donors, subscribers and patrons of Opera Santa Barbara. Prior to working with OSB, Francesca worked for the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra in a similar capacity. Ms. Patruno is also a Wedding Officiant, helping couples make meaningful marriage ceremonies.

Tyler Thompson

 

Bardolfo / Falstaff

March 2014 (debut)

 

Robert Norman

Having been praised for comedic skills with "impeccable timing to match an equally admirable tenor," Robert Norman is a character tenor on the rise. He has performed nationally with L.A. Opera, Opera San José, Opera San Luis Obispo, Union Avenue Opera, and Opera Las Vegas. Mr. Norman is an L.A. District winner for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and is an alumnus of the Opera Santa Barbara Young Artist Program. He is a frequent performer with L.A. Opera's outreach programs, and has thrilled audiences as a monster hot dog, a game show host, and Mr. Mozart himself. In 2015, Robert made company debuts with Townsend Opera and Fresno Grand Opera as Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire, and at Long Beach Opera as one of the two Tritones in the U.S. Premiere of Gavin Bryars' Marilyn Forever. His performance of Pedrillo / Spock in Pacific Opera Project's Star Trek adapted Abduction from the Seraglio received rave reviews describing his perfomance as "one of the highlights of the evening."

Mariya Kaganskaya

Mariya Kaganskaya's recent highlights include performing Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti), Ottavia (L'incoronazione di Poppea), and the title role of Serse at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, performing Olga (Eugene Onegin) with the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and covering the role of Elena in the American premiere of Adam Gorb's Anya17 for Opera Parallèle. Her other full roles include Cornelia (Giulio Cesare), Volupia (L'Egisto), and Foreign Singer/Lady with a Hat Box (Postcard from Morocco); favorite partial roles include Charlotte (Werther), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Marta (Iolanta), Angelina (La Cenerentola), Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), The Fox (The Little Prince), and Mme Pernelle (Tartuffe). Upcoming engagements include the world premiere of Elinor Armer's song cycle Will You, Won't You? at Old First Concerts and travelling to Suzhou, China, for the iSing International Festival this summer. An alumna of UC San Diego and a 2013 OperaWorks Advanced Artist, Mariya is currently a graduate student at the San Francisco Conservatory, in the studio of Catherine Cook.

Molly Jane Hill

 

Eunice Hubbell /
A Streetcar Named Desire

April 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Catherine Miller

Pianist/coach Catherine Miller returns to Opera Santa Barbara for her third production (Aida in 2013 and The Consul in 2014). She is a staff member of the U.C.L.A. Herb Alpert School of Music and Artistic Consultant for the Pasadena Opera Guild. Active as a recital accompanist, she has performed in Wigmore Hall in London, England; The Modavi Center in Davis, California and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.  Active as a vocal competition accompanist, she has played for the Metropolitan Opera District Competition, the Zachary Vocal Competition, The Dalis Vocal Competition and Operalia. A frequent accompanist for the Opera performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, she has also worked with Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, Santa Fe Opera, The Spoleto Festival, Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile and for the San Diego Opera Ensemble. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California, was a Fulbright Scholar at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary and holds a Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School.

Molly Wilson

 

Elvira / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Zachary Owen

 

Dulcamara / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016

 

Haly / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Emma Lacenski

 

Zulma / L'italiana in Algeri

March 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Katherine Kozak

Pianist and coach Katherine Kozak enjoys an active and varied career that brings her to opera companies and schools across the U.S. During the summers, she is a regular member of the music staff at The Glimmerglass Festival, where she is Principal Coach/Accompanist, and faculty for their prestigious Young Artists Program. Throughout her career, Katherine has functioned as rehearsal pianist, assistant conductor, coach, recital partner, chorus master and recitative accompanist, and her wide range of abilities has brought her to the music staffs of Florida Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Colorado, Central City Opera and Santa Fe Opera, among others. In addition to her involvement in Young Artist training programs at professional companies, she has also helped educate and develop signers at the university level. Appointments have included Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of Miami (FL), Associate Coach at The Juilliard School, and coach at Baldwin-Wallace University (OH). Kozak has enjoyed collaborating with singers since age 11, when she began accompanying The Singing Angels in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

Sergio González

Sergio González, tenor, received his Master's degree under the tutelage of César Ulloa at the SF Conservatory of Music, where he also holds his Bachelor's degree. He was seen as Gastone in Verdi's La Traviata and as Trin in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Kentucky Opera. The summer of 2014 he performed the role of Don Ottavio with the Mendocino Music Festival in Mozart's Don Giovanni. The spring of 2013, he performed the role of Ernesto with North Bay Opera in Donizetti's Don Pasquale where he also covered the role with Arizona Opera in 2014. The summer of 2013, he performed the title role in Britten's Albert Herring with the Green Mountain Opera Festival. In the summer of 2012 he was an apprentice artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera program. He returned in 2014 to Kentucky Opera to sing Benvolio and cover Tybalt in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette under the baton of Maestro Plasson. González was also recently seen as Ferrando in Mozart's Così fan tutte under the baton of Maestro Giuseppe Finzi, Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rinuccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, and as Tamino in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. This is his second year as a Studio Artist with Opera Santa Barbara, last season he covered the role of Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff and will cover the role of Lindoro in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri in 2015.

Omer Ben Seadia

Director Omer Ben Seadia has quickly established herself as one of the opera's fresh new voices. After working for the Israeli Opera for over a decade, Ms. Ben Seadia moved to the United States in 2012 to begin her international directing career. She made her Opera Santa Barbara debut in 2015, directing productions of L'italiana in Algeri and Streetcar Named Desire. She completed the prestigious opera directing program at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2014. While at CCM, she directed numerous productions including Don Pasquale (Donizetti), Le Docteur Miracle (Bizet) and Saint John's Passion (Bach). Other recent productions include the world premiere of Steal a Pencil for Me by Gerald Cohen and Deborah Brevoort at Opera Colorado, a revival of John Caird’s production of Tosca at Houston Grand Opera, Faust at Tulsa Opera, Considering Matthew Shepard in collaboration with Cincinnati Opera and the Vocal Arts Ensemble, The Elixir of Love at Naples Opera, a double bill of Der Kaiser von Atlantis/Brundibár with Cincinnati Chamber Opera, Così fan tutte at the University of Michigan, Roméo et Juliette at the International Vocal Arts Institute, and The Sound of Music at Crested Butte Music Festival. Ms. Ben Seadia is committed to the development and training of young artists; she has been on staff for the Houston Grand Opera Studio program, the Merola Opera Program, the International Vocal Arts Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival. Upcoming productions include Idomeneo at Wolf Trap Opera, Yardbird with Atlanta Opera, a double bill of Tom Cipullo’s Josephine and After Life at Opera Colorado, and the world premier of Home of my Ancestors by Nkeiru Okoye and Anita Gonzalez for HGOco.

Tatiana Vassilieva

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, pianist Tatiana Vassilieva returns to Opera Santa Barbara after coaching Falstaff, Don Pasquale and Madama Butterfly here in previous seasons. Ms. Vassilieva has worked on music staff at Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Edmonton Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Opera North, Boston University Opera Institute, and Eastman Opera Theatre, among others. She held fellowships at the Vocal Piano Program at Tanglewood Music Center and the Collaborative Piano Program at Music Academy of the West, and participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme in Aldeburgh, England.  Ms. Vassilieva attended the Eastman School of Music, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and a Master of Music degree in both piano performance and accompanying.

Rachelle Pike

Studio Artist, Rigoletto

Winner of the 2014 MONC Connecticut District Auditions, Rachelle Pike hails from Christchurch, New Zealand. She is a recent graduate from the Manhattan School of Music with a Masters in Music in Professional Studies. She returned to New Zealand Opera in the spring of 2014 as a Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Young Artist where she sang Flora in their production of La Traviata. In the Fall of 2014 Ms. Pike worked with Gotham Chamber Opera in their production of Baden-Baden and Teatro Grattaceilo where she covered the role of Priyàmvada in Alfano's Sakùntala. During the summer of 2013 she apprenticed with the Chautauqua Opera where she sang the role of Auntie in Peter Grimes and covered the role of Quickly in Falstaff. While engaged with New Zealand Opera, she was assigned the roles of Mercedes in Carmen, Die Dreite Dame in Die Zauberflöte and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel. Her roles at the Manhattan School included; the role of Duchess in Dreaming of Wonderland, Marthe in Faust, Samira in The Ghosts of Versailles and Begbick in Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.

Sponsor: Diana Wold

David Margulis

 

Borsa / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2014 (debut)

Elliott Carlton Hines

 

Monterone / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2014

Daniel Cilli

 

Marullo / Rigoletto

November 2014 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2014 (debut)

Jon DuPrau

Jon has enjoyed the passion of opera for many years and became an enthusiastic member of the Board in 2013, championing a variety of important efforts. He has a Juris Doctorate degree from the Santa Barbara College of Law, is a licensed International Financial Analyst, holds several Portfolio Management designations and leads an investment management group at Alex Brown in Los Angeles. Jon serves on Opera Santa Barbara's Executive and Education Committees as well as being a trustee for the Art Foundation of Santa Barbara, on the Board of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and on the Advisory Council of the United Way’s United for Literacy.

Rory Collins

Rory Collins has worked in opera production since 2002 with many companies in the United States. His first job was with Opera North as assistant stage manager, assistant director and director. He has worked as Stage Manager, Assistant Director, or Director at the following universities and opera companies: Opera North, Opera in the Heights, University of Texas, Florida State University, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Houston Grand Opera. Rory spent four seasons with LA Opera, six seasons with Santa Fe Opera, and three seasons with San Francisco Opera. Rory attended UC Santa Cruz for his Bachelor of Arts in Music, Peabody Conservatory where he received a Graduate Performance Diploma in Voice, and Boston University for his Master's in Music degree in Voice. He has a beautiful wife, three adorable dogs (Diesel, Tiffany and Heinrich) and is expecting a new member of the family in December.

Tim Petty

 

Marco / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015–2016

Lee Steiner

 

Gherardo / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015-2016

Rachel Blaustein

Praised for her "brilliant lyric soprano" (San Diego Story), Rachel Blaustein is quickly gaining recognition for her riveting stage presence and innate musicality. 

The 2019-2020 season proves to be an exciting year with many new debuts. This fall, Rachel joined Lyric Opera of Chicago's Lyric Unlimited, covering the role of Kenzie in their fall touring production of Earth to Kenzie. In February 2020, she appeared with Chicago Opera Theater in their workshop of Kamala Sankaram's Taking Up Serpents singing the roles of Save Mart Customer/Queer Kid/Holiness Congregation Member. In early March, she made her concert debut with the Bel Canto Chorus and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as the Soprano Soloist in Bach's Mass in B Minor. Upcoming, she will be a Semi-Finalist in the McCammon Voice Competition held in Fort Worth, TX in April 2020. To round out the 2020 season, Rachel will join the Glimmerglass Festival this summer singing Despina in Così?, (a 70-minute English adaptation of Cosi fan tutte) and will cover Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music.

The 2018-2019 season brought an exciting debut with Opera NEO where Rachel sang the role of Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. Active in competition, she won Second Place in The American Prize in Vocal Performance (Women in Opera), The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards and was a Finalist and won an Encouragement Award from both the 2019 Central Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as well as the Annapolis Opera Competition. Additionally, she won the Audience Choice Award in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition, and was a Finalist in Opera Ithaca's Edward M. Murray International Competition of Voice.

In the 2017-2018 season, she was seen as a studio artist with Florentine Opera performing Papagena in The Magic Flute, Second Woman and Shepherdess in Dido and Aeneas/Venus and Adonis, and Sylviane in The Merry Widow.

In previous seasons, Rachel has been a young artist with Kentucky Opera, Opera NEO, Des Moines Metro Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Chautauqua Opera, and has appeared in concert with Fort Worth Opera. On the competition front, Rachel has previously won awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Partners for the Arts Vocal Competition, the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition, among others.

A native of Olney, Maryland, Rachel holds Bachelor's degree in Voice with a minor in drama from Hofstra University and a Master of Music from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.

Giannetta /
L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015–2016

Molly Clementz

 

Rosette / Manon

November 2017

 

Bianca / La rondine

April 2017

 

Lapak; Dog; Woodpecker /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Mercédès / Carmen

November 2016

 

La Ciesca / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015–2016, 2016–2017

Angela Mannino

 

Adina / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Cynthia Brittain

After beginning her legal career as a prosecutor in San Diego, Ms. Brittain was a partner in Santa Barbara-based Ambrecht & Brittain for nearly 10 years before practicing with the international law firm Withers in London and Hong Kong, where she was primarily involved in international cross-border planning for large global families. Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2012, Ms. Brittain served as counsel at McKenna, Long & Aldridge in Los Angeles, where she focused on domestic and international estate and tax planning. At Northern Trust, she collaborates with clients and their counsel on estate planning strategies, including fiduciary and tax issues stemming from trust administration. She speaks nationally on cross-border planning.

Ms. Brittain is a member of the Estate and Trust Committee and the Tax Committee of the California State Bar Association, as well as the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She served as president of the Ventura Estate Planning Council in 2007, and is currently a co-chair of the Tax Committee for the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.

Laurel Phillips

Laurel Phillips is an attorney specializing in copyright and trademark law. She currently maintains an independent legal practice in intellectual property. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara, she spent 17 years as an advertising executive in New York City and Los Angeles. She is currently on the Board of the Little Town Club, is a docent at Casa Del Herrero and is a Judge Pro Tem with the Santa Barbara Superior Court. She has been a trustee of the Santa Barbara Foundation and is a past Board Member of CAMA and the Hope Ranch Homeowner's Association. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, San Diego State University and Southwestern University School of Law. She has a broad range of musical tastes, from country/western to blues, pop, rock and classical. In addition to her musical interests, she enjoys interclub tennis, bicycling and fitness classes. She holds a deep love for Santa Barbara and is deeply committed to activities that benefit the community.

Pat Andersons

Maria Kanyova

 

Angelica / Suor Angelica

April 2016 (debut)

Alan E. Hicks

 

Director / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Marco Cammarota

 

Nemorino / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Leonardo Vordoni

 

Conductor / L'elisir d'amore

March 2016 (debut)

Daniel Mobbs

 

Leporello / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Douglas Kinney Frost

 

Conductor / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Mark Walters

 

Don Giovanni / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Fred Sidon**

Jean Rogers

Jean Rogers has been a full-time resident of Santa Barbara since 2009 when she moved from Dallas, Texas where she raised five children. Her late husband J. Ben Rogers, Jr. was an entrepreneur in real estate, vintage automobiles, and a chain of barbecue restaurants. Ms. Rogers earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in 1985. She has professional experience in sales in the fashion industry as well as residential real estate. She is active in the Santa Barbara Women’s Club, Little Town Club, Birnam Wood Golf Club and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. She also serves as a council member at the Music Academy of the West. In addition to opera, Jean enjoys bridge and tennis.

Beno Budgor

Dr. Aaron (Beno) Budgor was Founder and CEO of Aaron Budgor and Associates, a consulting firm providing technology intelligence and solutions to builders, providers, and users of networking systems. Prior to that he was CEO of the World-Wide Consortium for the Grid Institute; VP for Technology Strategies and Applications and Deputy Chief Technology Officer at BAE Systems Information Systems Sector; VP and Chief Technology Officer at Science Applications International Corp. and Executive Director for Commercial Investments/Licensing and Government Programs at Telcordia Technologies. He received a BS in Chemistry, Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA; and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Rochester. He has held profes­sorships at UC Davis, University of Mexico and Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of over 200 scientific and managerial papers, three books on electro-optics and lasers and one patent awarded in chaotic communications. He is a member of the Cosmos Club, is currently President of the Homeowners Association, Montecito Valley Ranch and on the Land Use Committee for the Montecito Association. Dr. Budgor is married, has two children, and resides in Santa Barbara, California.

Kostis Protopapas

Kostis Protopapas was named General Director of Opera Santa Barbara in December 2017, after two-and-a-half seasons as Artistic Director. 

During his time as Artistic Director and principal conductor, Kostis brought a unified vision to OSB’s musical and production values, strengthening the orchestra and chorus, engaging some of the country’s most promising young directors and singers, building a high-performing production team, and increasing focus on contemporary American opera. The result was productions of both familiar and new repertoire that are counted among the finest in the company’s history.  

As General Director, Kostis grew the company’s staff from three to seven, assembling an enthusiastic group of overachievers sharing an appetite for innovation and the desire to strengthen the company’s bond with the community. 

During 2018-19, the company’s 25th anniversary season, Kostis oversaw the sold-out Santa Barbara premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and a production of The Crucible that the Santa Barbara Independent hailed as “one of the season’s most exciting performances of any kind in Santa Barbara”; a 25th anniversary gala concert; and the company’s first-ever student matinee performance as well as its first ever Youth camp.

Under Kostis’ leadership Opera Santa Barbara saw the creation of the Santa Barbara Youth Opera, a program providing educational and performance opportunities for school-age children; the expansion of the company’s Chrisman Studio program to a season-long residency for emerging artists; an impressive growth in the company’s community engagement and educational activities throughout the Central Coast; and the runaway success of Operacurious, a new program that brings Young Professionals in Santa Barbara in contact with opera and its artists.

2016 saw the end of Kostis' 15-year association with Tulsa Opera, during which he conducted 30 productions of a diverse repertoire extending from popular classics to contemporary American works.  About his 2011 Barber of Seville performances, Alex Ross of The New Yorker wrote, “Most impressive was the fluid idiomatic playing of the orchestra… In any city, it’s rare to find a conductor that sets the right tempo so consistently that you stop noticing he's there.”

Kostis has been an Assistant Conductor for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera and Santa Fe Opera. At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he also served as Assistant Chorus Master under Donald Palumbo for two seasons..

Born in Athens, Greece, Kostis Protopapas studied Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens before coming to the United States in 1993, on an Onassis Foundation scholarship, to study piano at The Boston Conservatory and conducting at Boston University. He became an American citizen in 2011.  He loves living in Santa Barbara, and enjoys downtown restaurants, the Funk Zone’s tasting rooms, and sailing on the Santa Barbara Channel.

 

http://kostis-protopapas.com

Tara Faircloth

Stage director Tara Faircloth’s work has been seen in opera houses around the nation. Critics hailed her Nozze di Figaro, claiming, “Faircloth made her Atlanta Opera debut this night with distinction, creating an unstoppable momentum of manipulation and misunderstandings. This production was so fresh that it had the ability to bridge yet another gap, entertaining the amateur and the opera aficionado alike” (Opera News).  She directed two world premieres with the Houston Grand Opera's East+West series (The Bricklayer and Her Name Means The Sea) and has a thriving career in regional houses such as Wolf Trap Opera, Utah Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera and Atlanta Opera (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rigoletto, Die Zauberflöte, Hänsel & Gretel, etc.). The baroque repertoire is of special interest to Ms. Faircloth, who made her directorial debut with Ars Lyrica Houston’s production of Cain: Il primo omicidio in 2003, and has since designed and directed a number of shows for the company, including Charpentier's  Actéon and La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers. She created productions of Dido & Aeneas for Ars Lyrica at the Festival di Musica Barroca in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and for Mercury Baroque in collaboration with the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. 

 

The 2018-19 season finds Ms. Faircloth working on several new productions (Il Re Pastore with Merola Opera, Agrippina with Ars Lyrica Houston, The Little Prince with Utah Opera, The Coronation of Poppea with Boston Baroque), and returning to some familiar favorites: Le Nozze di Figaro and Rigoletto (for Arizona Opera and Austin Opera, respectively).  Following last year’s season, which included new productions of Gianni Schicchi, Pagliacci, and Loving Clara, a mixed media collaboration exploring the life and loves of Clara Schumann with Mercury Orchestra, Ms. Faircloth is clearly in demand as an interpreter for familiar works and those that are more obscure.

 

Ms. Faircloth has worked extensively on the directing staff of such companies as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Central City Opera, and Dallas Opera, and as such, has worked on some of the most complicated operas in the repertoire, assisting international directors and preparing cover casts of some of the best performers in our industry. Passionate about dramatic training for young singers, she is the Drama Instructor for the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and has served as a guest coach at HGO's Young Artists’ Vocal Academy, Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Des Moines Metro Opera, University of Michigan, and Rice University.  Her home is in Houston, Texas, where she enjoys restoring her 1935 Craftsman Bungalow. 

 

Director / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Adam Diegel

 

Ruggero / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Karin Wolverton

Soprano Karin Wolverton has been described by Opera News as “a young soprano to watch” having “a lovely warm tone, easy agility and winning musicality.” Ms. Wolverton took on the challenging role of Anna Sørensen in the 2011 world premiere of Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night with the Minnesota Opera for which WQXR acclaimed “. . . soprano Karin Wolverton, whose diamond-edged soprano shone in a sublime Act I “Dona Nobis Pacem” during mass, and sliced through the top notes of a second-act aria full of emotional turbulence as she realizes the beauty of her art is no match for the horrors of war.” Continuing her passionate involvement in new works, Ms. Wolverton returned to Arizona Opera in the 2016-2017 season for the world premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage by Craig Bohmler. Additionally, she returned to Minnesota Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold, the Jacksonville Symphony as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, debuted with Opera Santa Barbara as Magda in La rondine, and returned to Angels & Demons Entertainment as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the Minnesota Orchestra to cover the title role in Salome. The 2015-2016 season saw her return to Tulsa Opera as Mimì in La bohème and debuts with Arizona Opera as Micäela in Carmen, the South Dakota Symphony for another La bohème, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Angels & Demons Entertainment as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. Her 2014-2015 season included Fiordiligi in Utah Opera’s Così fan tutte, her debut with Austin Lyric Opera as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Minnesota Orchestra, and singing Shepherd on the Rock and Brad Mehldau’s The Book of Hours with the Joya! Concerts Series and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Hill House Players.

 

Crystal Manich

Crystal Manich is an international director whose work has been seen across the United States, Argentina, and Australia. From opera to musicals, plays, and short films, she creates a diverse body of work year after year. Hailed by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other major publications for “lively” and “imaginative staging,” she has directed over 60 productions. Directing credits include: Buenos Aires Lírica in Argentina, Pinchgut in Sydney (Australia), Pittsburgh, The Kennedy Center, Santa Fe, Wolf Trap, Boston Lyric, Utah, Tulsa, American Opera Projects, Utah, Omaha, Arizona, Santa Barbara, Columbus, North Carolina, Delaware, Roanoke, and Baltimore. Former Artistic Director of Mill City Summer Opera and Founding Co-Artistic Director for Opera Omnia in New York. She was assistant artistic director on Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam in Brazil.

Crystal’s short bilingual film script, Desconocer, was an Official Selection and finalist of the 2019 Oaxaca FilmFest Global Script Challenge. She won the Audience Award at the 2018 Great Lakes International Shorts Festival for her short film L’Ivresse, which she wrote and directed.

She is currently a part of the ongoing development of a new adaptation of the Puerto Rican play La Carreta/The Oxcart in collaboration with playwright Caridad Svich, in addition to other literary development projects.

Having grown up bilingual, she recently stated the following in an interview about her new production of the Spanish language opera Il Postino: “It's become a real desire of mine to make the Spanish language part of what we're offering in the cultural sector.”

In Fall 2019, she directed the world premiere stage adaptation of Julia Alvarez’s Return to Sender by Marisela Orta for the Nashville Children’s Theatre about Mexican immigration and its complexities. It has been nominated for several Broadway World regional awards. She also directed the opera adaptation of the Spanish language opera Il Postino for Virginia Opera in a new production that will appear at several companies in the United States.

In January 2020 Crystal directed the musical Bernarda Alba, based on the Spanish play by Federico García Lorca, by Michael John LaChiusa for the Minneapolis company Theater Latté Da in a new production. Her spring season also includes a new Spanish adaptation of Cimarosa’s opera Il Matrimonio Segreto set in 1980’s Little Havana in Miami, as well as André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in Virginia.

Stage Director /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

E. Scott Levin

Bass-Baritone, E. Scott Levin is a gifted comic actor praised for his “smooth, buttery voice.” He has been making audiences laugh for the past fifteen years with his “incredibly sharp timing” in roles including Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, Schaunard in La bohème, and Falke in Die Fledermaus. Scott made his debut Opera Santa Barbara debut as Simone in Gianni Schicchi (2016) and returned as The Priest/Badger in The Cunning Little Vixen (2017). In 2015, he made debuts at Townsend/Fresno Opera as the Sacristan in Tosca, Los Angeles Opera “Off-Grand” as Babayan (Bartolo) in Figaro 90210!, and on the LA Opera mainstage as Dr. Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, starring Placido Domingo. Since 2002, Scott has sung in over twenty productions with Union Avenue Opera in Saint Louis and many productions with Pacific Opera Project in Los Angeles. He has also sung with many other companies in the Los Angeles area including Long Beach Opera, Redlands Opera Theater, Center Stage Opera, OperaWorks, Orange County Opera, and Celestial Opera. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis and Graduate Certificate in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.

Lauren McNeese

 

Fox Goldenstripe /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Isabel Bayrakdarian

 

Vixen Sharp Ears /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

 

David Kravitz


The Forester /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Octavio Cardenas

Octavio Cardenas

Stage director Octavio Cardenas captivates audiences with his visionary, visceral, and physical style of directing. Born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, Opera News has praised him for “an immersive theater experience” while the Dallas Morning News hailed him for bringing “every character and situation to life.” Recent projects include Puccini’s La bohème for Minnesota Opera, Philip Glass’s Galileo Galilei for Des Moines Metro Opera, Die Fledermaus for Baylor Opera, and Florencia en el Amazonas for the Tulsa Opera YAP program. Upcoming projects see him direct the world premiere of Bless Me, Ultima for Opera Southwest, Turandot for Mississippi Opera, Falstaff for Intermountain Opera, The Tender Land for Des Moines Metro Opera, and La rondine for Minnesota Opera.

Mr. Cardenas’s recent productions of Silent Night for Fort Worth Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City were described as “a breathtaking realization” with “many brilliant touches.” The Kansas City Star called the Lyric Opera’s production “one of its finest performances in recent memory.” Other recent productions include Rappaccini’s Daughter for Des Moines Metro Opera, The Magic Flute for Opera Neo in San Diego, The Giver for Minnesota Opera, and As One for UrbanArias for which MD Theater Guide acclaimed “Under the direction of Octavio Cardenas, the two stars playfully make great use of both stage and energetic space—it seemed the theatre condensed and expanded with Hannah’s journey.”

As the former Director of Opera for Baylor University, Mr. Cardenas directed productions of L’elisir d’amoreThe Turn of the ScrewDialogues of the Carmelites, and Rita. He currently serves as the Head of the Directing Staff at Des Moines Metro Opera and in addition to having been on the directing staff at Chautauqua Opera. He joined the Minnesota Opera Resident Artists Program for four consecutive seasons, working on all main stage productions and directing Andrew Sinclair’s production of Les pêcheurs de perles. Other directing credits include Susannah at Loyola Opera Theatre, which won the award for “Best College Production 2012” by the Gambit Magazine in New Orleans.

Mr. Cardenas received his Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from UCLA, a Master of Music from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Centenary College in Louisiana.

Stage Director / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Jeanine De Bique

 

Micaëla / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Harold Meers

 

Le Chevalier des Grieux /
Manon

November 2017

 

Don José / Carmen

November 2016

 

The Duke of Mantua / Rigoletto

Feb/March 2007

 

Rinuccio / Gianni Schicchi

Feb/March 2006 (debut)

Kostis Protopapas

Kostis Protopapas was named General Director of Opera Santa Barbara in December 2017, after two-and-a-half seasons as Artistic Director. 

During his time as Artistic Director and principal conductor, Kostis brought a unified vision to OSB’s musical and production values, strengthening the orchestra and chorus, engaging some of the country’s most promising young directors and singers, building a high-performing production team, and increasing focus on contemporary American opera. The result was productions of both familiar and new repertoire that are counted among the finest in the company’s history.  

As General Director, Kostis grew the company’s staff from three to seven, assembling an enthusiastic group of overachievers sharing an appetite for innovation and the desire to strengthen the company’s bond with the community. 

During 2018-19, the company’s 25th anniversary season, Kostis oversaw the sold-out Santa Barbara premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and a production of The Crucible that the Santa Barbara Independent hailed as “one of the season’s most exciting performances of any kind in Santa Barbara”; a 25th anniversary gala concert; and the company’s first-ever student matinee performance as well as its first ever Youth camp.

Under Kostis’ leadership Opera Santa Barbara saw the creation of the Santa Barbara Youth Opera, a program providing educational and performance opportunities for school-age children; the expansion of the company’s Chrisman Studio program to a season-long residency for emerging artists; an impressive growth in the company’s community engagement and educational activities throughout the Central Coast; and the runaway success of Operacurious, a new program that brings Young Professionals in Santa Barbara in contact with opera and its artists.

2016 saw the end of Kostis' 15-year association with Tulsa Opera, during which he conducted 30 productions of a diverse repertoire extending from popular classics to contemporary American works.  About his 2011 Barber of Seville performances, Alex Ross of The New Yorker wrote, “Most impressive was the fluid idiomatic playing of the orchestra… In any city, it’s rare to find a conductor that sets the right tempo so consistently that you stop noticing he's there.”

Kostis has been an Assistant Conductor for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera and Santa Fe Opera. At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he also served as Assistant Chorus Master under Donald Palumbo for two seasons..

Born in Athens, Greece, Kostis Protopapas studied Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens before coming to the United States in 1993, on an Onassis Foundation scholarship, to study piano at The Boston Conservatory and conducting at Boston University. He became an American citizen in 2011.  He loves living in Santa Barbara, and enjoys downtown restaurants, the Funk Zone’s tasting rooms, and sailing on the Santa Barbara Channel.

Leann Sandel-Pantaleo

 

Carmen / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Aaron Breid

 

Conductor /
Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Jason Slayden

 

Rinuccio / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Monica Yunus

 

Lauretta / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Sara Duchovnay

 

Zerlina / Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

Ryan Bradford

 

Masetto/ Don Giovanni

November 2015 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015

Richard Banks

Richard Banks, a retired CPA and longtime supporter of local nonprofit organizations, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Opera Santa Barbara. His three-year term began this month.

Mr. Banks earned a degree in business administration at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, before beginning his career as a tax accountant and auditor for Arthur Andersen & Co. He went on to serve as a controller and chief financial officer for a number of companies involved in manufacturing, agriculture, government contracting, and oil and gas development. Mr. Banks also worked in family wealth planning, specializing in high-net-worth individuals and family businesses. His professional affiliations include membership in the American Institute of CPAs, the California Society of CPAs, Tech Coast Angels, and the Family Firm Institute.

His extensive involvement with local nonprofit boards has included Crane Country Day School, Transition House, Ensemble Theatre Company, the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Zoo, Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Community Environmental Council, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and the Lobero Theatre, among others.

"Richard has a background rich in cultural discernment and community engagement, and as such is an ideal fit for our organization," said Joan Rutkowski, immediate past chair of Opera Santa Barbara's Board of Directors and current chair of its Governance Committee. "We are immensely fortunate to have an individual of his caliber contribute to the company's leadership discussions."

Joann Younger

Joann Younger, a successful entrepreneur whose ventures have included popular women's clothing stores in Santa Barbara and Sacramento, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Opera Santa Barbara. Her three-year term began in January.

A native of Dallas, Ms. Younger founded a development firm in Sacramento in the 1960s before turning her attention to women's fashion, opening the juniors store Sacks Howe Avenue in 1975 and later the boutique Chantilly Lace, both in Sacramento. She currently owns Renaissance Fine Consignment, which has locations in Santa Barbara and Sacramento.

"Joann is a self-made businesswoman whose keen instincts and moxie are certain to prove invaluable as we embark on an exciting new era at Opera Santa Barbara," said Joan Rutkowski, immediate past chair of the company's Board of Directors and current chair of its Governance Committee. "Given her impressive record of accomplishment and her infectious enthusiasm, we expect her contributions to our organization to be both substantial and of lasting significance."

Kyle Naig Photo

Kyle Naig

Kyle Naig began his association with Opera Santa Barbara as a 2016 Studio Artist, working on The Elixir of Love and Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi. He returned to the company as rehearsal pianist and assistant conductor, most recently for Manon this past November. Recent performances include Laura Kaminsky’s As One with Des Moines Metro Opera, Porgy and Bess with the Glimmerglass Festival, and Tosca with Intermountain Opera Bozeman. He will return to Intermountain for Falstaff in May. This spring, Kyle will join Opera Memphis for the Midtown Opera Festival and this summer he will return to Glimmerglass. Kyle was a 2016-2017 Resident Artist with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and he was recently named a 2018-1019 Houston Grand Opera Studio Artist.

Christopher Turbessi

Christopher Turbessi is a freelance collaborative pianist, vocal coach, and conductor based in Houston.  For the 2015-2016 season he was an Assistant Conductor and the Musical Supervisor of HGOco at Houston Grand Opera, where he shepherded the workshops and world premiere performances of Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players, Gregory Spears' O Columbia, and David Hanlon's After the Storm, among other new works.  He also cultivated and performed on the first Veterans' Songbook recital, a project to turn the words of Houston-area veterans into song cycles by local composers.  In July 2016 he will coach and conduct for the inaugural American Opera and Musical Theater Summer Institute at Augusta University; he has also served on the staff of the Castleton Festival.  Mr. Turbessi is a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, as well as young artist programs at Virginia Opera, the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and Syracuse Opera.  He was Assistant Conductor for Virginia Opera's production of Le nozze di Figaro and Chorus Master for Syracuse Opera's Madama Butterfly, Les pêcheurs de perles, and Virginia Opera's Carousel.  Mr. Turbessi holds a master of music degree in collaborative piano from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Martin Katz.

Evan Bravos

 

Harasta /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Dancairo / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2016-2017

Elizabeth Kelsay

 

Lisette / La rondine

April 2017

 

Rooster, Bluejay /
The Cunning
Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Frasquita / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

 

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2016–2017

Mary Tonetti Dorra

Born in Macon, Georgia, Ms. Dorra grew up in Texas and earned a degree in philosophy at Vassar College. Following teaching stints in Costa Rica and Uruguay she spent three years in Italy, first studying at the University of Florence and then working as a research reporter in Time Life's Rome bureau, writing about art, fashion, and film. She went on to serve as an assistant accessories editor at Harper's Bazaar and as assistant director of fashion publicity and promotion at Revlon, both in New York, and as director of special events at the May Company in Los Angeles before working as a freelance writer for Mattel. After earning a master's degree in, and teaching Italian at UCLA, she taught at UCSB.

Ms. Dorra has lectured extensively on gardens and travel, and her articles have appeared in such publications as Gourmet Magazine, The New York Times, Elle Decor, the Los Angeles Times, and Travel + Leisure. She has authored three books, Beautiful American Gardens and Beautiful American Rose Gardens, published by Clarkson Potter, and the historical novel Demeter's Choice: A Portrait of My Grandmother as a Young Artist.

A former Board member for the UCSB Art Affiliates, Ms. Dorra currently serves as Board secretary for the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts. Her local nonprofit efforts also have included the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Garden Club of Santa Barbara, Planned Parenthood, the Music Academy of the West, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and Ensemble Theatre Company.

James Callon

 

Prunier / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Keith Phares

 

Escamillo / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

Zita:

Cindy Sadler

Gherardo:

J. Raymond Meyers

 

Rémendado / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

Nella:

Julia Frenkel

Simone:

Matthew Treviño

La Ciesca:

Sara Campbell

Betto:

John Sauvey

Marco:

Paul Sahuc

Buoso Donati:

Christopher Carroll

Gianni Schicchi, February/March 2006